Monday, October 24, 2011

in the +3 time zone

Our orientation interview was great and we love our agency and blessed to feel at home and comfortable with Heather, our agency rep. We feel like we have a better grasp on timeline and what things may look like. And for me who grasps at the illusion of control regularly, this gives me some false sense of security. I realize God already knows our timeline and that is where my security must lie...but in the midst of not feeling that I know anything, this helps.

Alas, I am in Bahrain. The more I travel, the easier it gets, but my heart still longs to be home with my boys. I am so thankful I got to skype with them after my arrival but I feel like Jack is getting to that age where he knows I'm gone which is not helping my cause. The other thing that's not helping is that I think he's going through a 6 month growth spurt and teething which makes for an unhappy baby. I am beyond thankful to have an amazing husband who I trust beyond anyone else in the world and know God created to be my lifemate (and I his). This eases the tension of Jack not having his mom there but it still hurts my heart to be gone.

However, in the midst of being away from my boys, I am sensing another type of longing. I am on the same side of the world as my second child. Better yet, I'm in the same time zone!! Distance wise, I am about as close to my baby as we live to Las Vegas...that's just a few short hour plane ride away!! This is the closest I will be to him/her until we leave to go bring him home. And it just makes me want to go right now. This could be a slight problem of course given the fact that the age of our baby when we adopt could be about 12 months, and we're about 15-18 months away from actually going to get our child, so realistically, my baby's birth mom is most likely pregnant right now. That is such a weird thought. It draws me to her and I just pray that she is well, eating as best as she can, sleeping as well as any pregnant woman can, and that the heaviness of her heart, knowing her child will not be with her for her life, will be put at ease. I pray that she will have a peace come over her knowing that someone, some family, is so excited to know that their baby is in the womb being woven together to make their family a more complete picture. I can't imagine what it must be like to not have your child with you for your life but I pray that for her she can know that we will love and raise that baby no differently than we do our beautiful Jack.

I have been reading the blog of some new found friends (who ironically enough, live near Raleigh) who are in Uganda right now waiting to bring home their little girl. Their story is amazing to read and gives me such excitement and hope that the time will be here before we know it!! In the meantime, I will wait on the Lord! And this week, I will wait in the same timezone as our little baby :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

my baby boy

With a home study provider in place and our first interview scheduled, I am excited and ready to move forward. My adoption excitement aside, I am getting ready to leave for a week of work and it always makes me sad. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy traveling and really don't mind traveling for work. But leaving my husband and my baby are the hardest times of my life. The first time I traveled after Jack was born was a week long trip to Korea. The trip was doused in fear that something would happen to my boys while I was halfway around the world and I would be completely helpless and 24 hours away. I was home for a week and then left for Italy and while it got a bit easier, it's still not my favorite thing. Ideally, I would love to take my family with me. But taking a 6 month old halfway around the world is not something I'm doing anytime soon. Bringing our baby home from Africa will be quite a trip but I will not travel like that with Jack if I don't have to.

Anyway, tomorrow I leave for Bahrain. It's your standard, run of the mill trip. No big deal, really. It's just another week away from my boys. Call it what you will, but I still hate to spend a night away from my husband. I am so thankful for Skype and that we can see each other daily, but it's still not easy. I hold so tightly to my baby Jack and love to just snuggle him. His smile and laughter are infectious! And Skype just can't convey that closeness...his smell, his wiggly self, and his squishy butt :) But I know my Jack is loved and taken care of so well by so many that I have to just be thankful that we have an amazing support system during these times!!

I realize this blog has been focused on our future baby from Uganda but I would never want anyone to think that I am not taking advantage of every moment of our family right now, today. Yes, I am excited about our new baby and yes, I know that baby will just add to our already amazing family but it does not make me wish away one moment of today.

Oh by the way, I get home from Bahrain in a week and then leave less than two weeks later for Japan...last trip of the year! I just keep telling myself that these Delta Skymiles are contributing to our Uganda plane tickets and I know that's why I'm getting these opportunities right now!! So I'm trying to be thankful that I have an amazing job and great travel that allows for a very important future trips to Uganda!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

study? i thought i was done with school...

our orientation interview is on friday and as soon as that wraps up we begin our home study. for those of you not familiar with a home study, it's basically someone interviewing your family including finances, a physical, background check (think i'm good on this one), and then they visit your home. so many things i've read about the home study process talks about the fact that it's not so important to have everything perfect in its place or every piece of dog hair off the floor (thank goodness) but more that you have your ducks in a row, that you are prepared for another family member, and that you are going to be decent parents. no matter what specifically anyone will be looking at, anytime you have someone go over your life with a fine tooth comb you are making yourself vulnerable. the truth is, jack is rolling over every which way but sunday these days and will be mobile before we know it so it's not bad to be baby-proofing and de-cluttering already. it's just that i have a hard time believing that how i keep my house determines how good a parent i will be. i love my jack jack but sometimes i am a slob! sometimes i have dishes left in the sink overnight and there's usually a pile of dirty laundry outside the laundry room and not in the basket and i'm sure i don't vacuum up after the dogs enough...but does that make me lesser of a mom than someone that does?

on top of this, i keep thinking about how we "clean house". whether it's before company comes or before a home study, we can become some cleaning fools. i'll never forget when i was young that we cleaned like we never cleaned before when my grandma was coming to visit (sorry mom). but that's not how we lived. i'm not saying we lived in a dump, i'm just saying it wasn't reality. what if a social worker popped in on some random day to do a home study, would i be prepared? i don't know. i don't think we would fail as much as i know it's not going to look the same as when we have this planned visit.

justin and i have been talking about how God is calling us to be prepared for whatever he has in store for us. part of our preparations are doing some "cleaning house" of our own. it's so easy to fall into a rut by setting expectations for our lives and working toward those expectations. this last weekend we had the pleasure of worshiping with Bridges church in Winston-Salem and the lead pastor, Patrick, preached about preparing for action even when we don't know what that action is. we realized we had been putting expectations in place without preparation and really we need to prepare and then just be ready for God to move. this is how our adoption is going to be and how our lives need to continue to be. we are preparing our home, our lives, and our hearts and then we wait for action...a baby, a move?, who knows? we just know we need to ready ourselves and wait with bated breath! man that gets me excited!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The reality hits

We are so overwhelmed with life right now. Justin is student teaching by day and waiting tables by night while finishing his masters degree (come on December!). I am working full time, traveling for work, and trying to keep up with our house...oh yeah, and Jack is now 5 1/2 months old.

And then the reality hits...we are, by choice, asking for another layer of stress, pressure, and craziness into our lives. We are adopting. And when I stop and think about what that means, it is a lot to consider. We are asking for another child and one that we have zero control or influence on his or her life until he or she enters our home. We have no idea what his background is, why he is an orphan, what happened to his family, or how he was treated from birth to us. And we have very limited control as to how those initial months will impact his entire life.

And yet...we want nothing more than him. Last night Jack was finishing his last bottle and I didn't have a book close enough to grab so I decided to tell him a story. I told him the story of how his little brother or sister will be joining our family and you know what he did? He smiled bigger than I've ever seen him smile before. And my heart swelled with love. I love Jack more than I could ever explain. It is unbelievable that there could be more room in my heart for another baby and yet I already do! I may not know what our baby looks like but I can already see his spirit and hold him in my heart even though he may not even be born yet!!

We know that this is a marathon. We know that we are taking a risk by adopting in general, let alone in a country that is not part of the Hague convention. We know that we could accept a referral and something could happen to our baby before we even get there or after we arrive to take him home. We even had to sign a document that says we know what the risk is and we accept that risk! But we also know that God has called us to adopt and we are beyond excited that He has chosen us. We know that we are saving a little boy (or girl) from a very unknown future but even more so, we know that a little boy (or girl) is saving our family from having a gap in it that he was created to fill. This is a two way street. And we're just happy to be along for the ride.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And so it begins...

As some of you may or may not know, we have officially started the adoption process and are working with Lifeline Children's Services to adopt a baby from Uganda.

If you know me, you know that from the first time I went to Haiti, I wanted a Haitian baby. And before Justin and I ever got married, I made it clear to him that it was my intention to adopt internationally one day, and if he wasn't onboard with that then it could be a dealbreaker. Obviously he was, in fact, he was ecstatic about the idea! I knew Haiti would not be an option for us because we have been married a short time and by the time we will have been married long enough, we will be above the age limit. Our initial desire was to adopt from Uganda and then we were bitten by the China bug. After doing our initial paperwork with Lifeline and looking at our options we are now fully pursuing Uganda (the China bug isn't necessarily gone though!).

Needless to say, I am overwhelmed...this is not a bad thing! It's just that this process is truly a marathon and not a sprint and yet when I really stop to think about having a beautiful little Ugandan baby in our home I get so excited that it overwhelms me!

I just wanted to get this post going and do plan on maintaining this as our adoption blog. It only seems appropriate since this is a blog about my life and our marriage, my little Jack, and our future baby is my life!!

In the book of James God calls us to care for the widows and orphans. We believe that means many different things to many different people. To us what that means is providing a forever family for a child who otherwise wouldn't have one.

We hope you will walk with us through this process and keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We know this is a long and arduous process but the result is a joy that few people get to know!