Monday, May 20, 2013

Whoa...Take a Deep Breath...

These past couple months and especially the past few weeks have been a little bit on the busy side for us in our daily lives. We have had little trips here and there, soccer games, gymnastics, church activities, etc. We also turned finally decided on an agency and turned in our application to them a couple weeks ago. We both completely felt a green light to do that, so we planned an evening to take care of it after the kids were in bed. We also had an orientation meeting with the agency last week. Our next step is to sign and notarize all of our contracts and mail them in. Shortly after that, we will start our homestudy process!

So you can imagine that all of this together has made me a little bit jumpy. When I started this blog, I kind of intended to avoid sharing about most of the financial parts of the adoption. Jared and I are prepared to do what we need to do to make bring our child home, and I really don't want to the money part to be the main focus. However, the fact is that adoption costs money. Since this blog is to chronicle our adoption journey, I don't really see how I can completely leave the financial part out. So I'm going to try to share what's been going on in my mind without over sharing. :)

I basically am a nervous spender. I am very good at making lots of little purchases. But spending large amounts at once causes some anxiety in  me. I feel like I have to make sure the purchase is completely necessary, research brands and products and reviews, and work out a great deal and still I almost have a little bit of buyer's remorse until I actually put what I've purchased to use. An example is when we bought our treadmill. I put it off for months, because even though we had the money in savings, I was anxious about it. Up until it was set up and I started using it, I wondered if it had been a good idea. But after being able to work out in the mornings before work in my own living room for a week, I was singing it's praise. I still think it was one of our better purchases. It was the same way with my new laptop, our car, the jogging stroller, etc.

This ties into our early adoption stages because, to start our education, dossier, and homestudy, we have to make a payment that's on the larger side. Let me just say right here that I am SURE of the adoption. I am not having trouble because I want to hold onto this payment and use the money for something else. What has been going on is a faith issue. I have been worried that we might spend all of our money, get almost to the end of the adoption, and then run out of money, leaving us unable to complete the adoption.

I've been fretting about this and working numbers in my head over and over and just way over-thinking it. But last week, something amazing happened, as it always does. A good man shared some verses and brought me back to where I needed to be. Of course we are not going to get to the end of this adoption and not be able to bring our baby home. If God wants us to do this, He is going to provide the whole way. And He is going to provide at just the right time for us to be matched and bring home the child He has chosen for me!

This person who shared the verses also mentioned that so often, we worry about things that have not even happened yet. And yet, even though my worries are silly and unfounded, God cares. He hears my prayers. Do I really think he is going to get me attached to a precious child just to leave us hanging at the end?

I have just been filled with peace and calmness since last Thursday, knowing that we are doing the right thing. This process is going to be filled with ups and downs, I'm sure. I know there is going to be alot of stretching our faith, and alot of leaning and trusting. But we are so ready to do this! I am so excited to start our homestudy and start gathering the paperwork for our dossier. It's seeming more and more real as the days go by. I feel like I'm losing a little bit more of my heart everyday. Because everyday brings another day closer. I can't believe that just 2 years from now or even a little sooner, our baby will be here with us.

Now off to enjoy the 2 babies I already get to kiss everyday!! :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Small Victories

Number One- Gracie tried (and liked!) peaches from a can this week. She also grilled chicken, even though it had black grill marks on it. And she sucked the applesauce off of a baby carrot. That's right. The baby carrot went in her mouth. It did not stay in, but I'm ok with that for today. Also, there were a few nights with no mealtime tantrums. Even though there was food she does not like on her plate. These are major victories. MAJOR, I tell you. We've been very strict lately about snacks and mealtime, and it seems to be paying off.

Number Two- During a tantrum after being told no for something, Gracie managed to sob out, "I AM UPSET". As in, she used words. And words other than "I am sick" or "My tummy hurts", her favorite phrases for any emotion other than happiness. She used her words to tell us how she felt, Friends!!

Number Three- Gracie has been sharing with her brother. Without a fit. She has shared bites of food with him. She will occasionally give him one of her toys to play with. If there was a survey question I had to answer that asked "If Gracie is across the room and sees Liam playing with one of her favorite toys, how likely is it that Gracie will run across the room, take toy, and push or hit her brother?", I feel like I can almost confidently answer "Somewhat unlikely". That's big. (Nothing said in this paragraph applies to Ya-ya. With Ya-ya, all bets are off).

If you are not a parent, or have never dealt with a 3 year old, you are probably getting your judgement on right now. You are probably thinking to yourself "OH. MY. GOSH. What a little brat!" and also probably thinking "How delusional is this woman that she considers all this a good thing?" That's ok. I was there once too. I'm eating my humble pie now.

If you are a parent, or have had interaction with a 3 year old, you understand. VICTORIES!! They may be small, they may still need work, but VICTORIES! I'll take it. :)

P.S. Sorry for the all the caps. This is exciting stuff. I needed to be expressive.

P.P.S. I love my spirited, expressive girl. So, so much.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Seeing God in Them

Well, do you have a minute for some honesty? Here's the brutal truth. It has been a rough week around here. There was sickness. There was teething. There were tantrums. There were sunburns. There was crabbiness. And I can tell you what there definitely was NOT alot of... Patience. Well, that and sleep. Haha. But no, not alot of patience around here this week.

In my spare time, -which I have a bunch of, you know- I have been busy contacting any person I can think of who is involved with adoption, particularly Chinese adoption, particularly special needs Chinese adoption. I figure, the more connections I have and the bigger support network we have, the better. Anyway, one sweet adoptive mama responded to a previous e-mail from me this afternoon in the midst of some screaming and gnashing of teeth between my two dear children. She was very encouraging, and one little line struck me. She wrote, "I can look at [my daughter's] face and see God in her".

WOW! I spaced out for a minute thinking of that amazing day when I will be able to look at my Chinese child's face and see God. Sometimes I just can't wait to see the face of that beautiful child who God is going to match us with.

The fussing two children in my own living room jerked me back to today's reality. They are here. Now. I don't have to wait for my adopted child to see God. Sure, adoption is a beautiful picture of the gospel. But I can see God in the two I have now. They were created in His image. Even in our ugliest weeks, they are His. Jesus cared about the children. He had patience with them. They weren't a bother or an inconvenience to him.

I'm not perfect. There are always going to be bad weeks. I'm pretty darn sure I'm going to be praying to be better at patience for the rest of my life. But what I do to them, I do to Him. Would I treat someone else's children with the same annoyance and frustration I sometimes treat my own with? Would I treat Jesus with that same annoyance and frustration?

One day soon, I'm going to look at my beautiful son or daughter, the child we adopt, and I'm going to think of the story of how he came to our family, and I'll say "Wow. I see God in him". But today, and tomorrow, and the next day, I just hope I keep looking at my precious Gracie and Liam and seeing God there too. Because they are just babies, still learning how to express their own disappointments and frustrations and they are dealing with this crazy lady who is still learning how to be their mama. Here's to a better week and plenty of patience. For me and for my sweet babies.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What's Going On

Just a newsy update today.

We are SO close to turning in our application to the adoption agency. In order to turn in the application and officially get this ball rolling, we need to 1. Be sure it's the right time to get the ball rolling 2. Settle on an agency 3. Make sure we're financially ready for this. We definitely know the timing is right, and we are pretty sure of our agency at this point. Financially, I think we're ready. I had a little goal of having the $350 application fee in cash before we turned in our application so that we wouldn't be starting by taking money out of savings right away. I've now exceeded what we need so I think it's just about time! We are just waiting for complete peace about our agency, and that could happen any day. When the time is right, we'll know it, and that application will be on it's way!