Monday, June 27, 2011

Doing the next thing...

Today we got a call from an agency we've been in contact with. The call came in a little after 8pm, which is well after I gave up hope of getting a phone call today. My hopes seem to rise and fall with each 8am and 5pm cycle. LOL

Anyway, we were told that we are one of three adoptive couples that are being presented for this adoption situation. That presentation will take place this week. I've seen pictures of this baby and he is adorable. (Aren't all babies?)

Meanwhile, another adoption agency has us in a pile to possibly be presented to another potential birthmother this week as well. I've not seen pictures of this baby but he is already born. I bet he is adorable too.

So, what's a girl to do?


The fridge is cleaned out and the pantry is straightened. I purged some paperwork. Our laundry was complete until we put on pajamas tonight. I sorted through baby boy clothing. I played around with some travel arrangements. I started to think about what to pack. I made a grocery shopping list and a "To Finish" list.

Tomorrow we will go and get refills for prescriptions (they just happen to coincide with this), fill out paperwork for some reimbursements, and do a grocery shopping run. Then we will head to the pool to live life as a family of six. I'm not sure we are brave enough to take 5 children to the pool without any help.

We temper every hope with the fact that there is a chance we don't be picked. And this is why adoption nesting is different than pregnancy nesting. When you are pregnant you have a date to count down to-- a general idea of when baby will arrive. We don't have that.

But I ate a philly cheesesteak tonight.. just in case. You know... cravings. ;)

Would you pray for the birthparents as they make these life changing decisions? Pray that they are being supported by caring professionals and that they have peace with their decisions. Pray for the children as they are awaiting their placements. And pray for the adoptive families that are going to bed tonight, hoping.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Resting in Him...

I've had a long night up with the Lord. I've gotten no sleep but lots of time to talk to God.

I was praying over our adoption and telling Him that I was worried about the possibility of being double matched and how I'd ever choose between two babies. (Double matching is when you network with several agencies and you are chosen for TWO situations... and then you have to pick which situation/child to go with. You may recall that the family that originally matched with Xander was double matched and went with the other situation/child giving us the opportunity to match with him.)

Our situation count was up to 5 when I went to bed last night. Five homestudies sent, only a few profiles requested so far. We've been approved 9 days today. But if there is something to be worried about-- I'm all over it. Brandon often says that he rarely worries because I do enough for both of us!

Anyway.. I was praying about it and God gave me this verse... that I've read a thousand times.

"God sets the lonely in families..." ~Psalm 68:6

So, I'm choosing to rest in His Word. He does it. We just have to be obedient and in His timing, it will happen, if it is His will for our family. He did a fabulous job setting Xander into our family and we know he was meant to be ours. I mean.. have you seen his monster face? It looks just like his Daddy's. Have you heard him laugh until he snorts? Yup.. definitely a Bee! Xander is the one child of ours that is constantly told how much he looks like his Daddy. It makes me giggle. His birthmom thinks it is hilarious too!

Then I got out of bed to start my day and found an email from a friend asking if I had seen an adoption situation posted.

So now we are up to 6.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Orthopedist Outcome...

Friday we had an appointment for Lainey to have a second opinion (technically third since we saw a doc in Georgia too!) for her tippy toe walking. She is an idiopathic toe walker meaning that she walks on her toes for an unknown reason. When she was a baby, she always pushed up on tippy toes and she never outgrew it. (Many children do.)

When Lainey was younger, we did physical therapy to stretch her legs and attempt to keep her range of motion.

When she was 5, we had AFO braces made for her to keep her from going up on tippy toes and encourage a normal rolling pattern. They worked, when she was able to wear them. Unfortunately, her hands and feet perspire ALOT (hyperhidrosis) and between the moisture and her braces, it often caused blisters and skin irritations. Then she'd have to come out of the braces and she'd be right back up on her tippy toes.

When she was 6, we did a summer of serial casting. They casted her feet with her toes pulled upward to stretch her Achilles tendon, that had shortened over years of not stretching it. If you don't stretch it, it doesn't grow. She did two sets of double casts to the knee. It was a miserable summer but it had to be done. She could walk with the walking boots at the end of the casts.

Within maybe 2 weeks of coming out of the casts, she was right back up on her tippy toes. At that point we were told to remind her (as if I had not!) to stay on her flat feet and to roll her feet. We were told there was a small chance that she could have botox injections to weaken her overly active muscles. That was quickly taken off of the table and we were told our only option was surgery. But we were told that most likely the surgery would not work. So we continued to remind Lainey to roll her feet.

When we had our first appt with our family doctor, I mentioned her tippy toe walking and he encouraged me to seek a second opinion and gave me the name of another orthopedist. So that is where we had our appt this week.

This doctor had infinitely better people skills and after examining Lainey, she doesn't believe that it is the Achilles tendon that needs lengthened. She says it is the gastroc muscle (aka gastrocnemius muscle.) I asked a zillion questions and she patiently answered them.

What's the difference?

The gastroc. muscle is one that goes all the way up to your knee. When Lainey bends her knee (taking the pressure off of her gastroc muscle) she CAN bend her toes up much further than when her foot is held straight. If it was her Achilles tendon, then she wouldn't have that ability.

So what does that mean?

It means that Lainey doesn't have to have her Achilles tendon cut in half (!!!!) to lengthen it. It is a much less stressful surgery for her body to go through because it is less invasive. Dr. K seems to think that if we would have done the tendon surgery that it wouldn't have worked because that isn't the problem! Thank you Jesus for giving me the gut feeling to not go ahead with surgery with the last doctor.

Why do you have to do anything?

Well your heal doesn't widen/grow unless you put weight on it. Lainey has the same size heal as say.. Xander. Buying shoes is nearly impossible. Also, God made our joints with a specific purpose. When you start putting pressure on the wrong joints, there are consequences. Her toes/the end of her foot is starting to show issues. Also, her hips, lower back and knees are all showing issues.

So what are the details?

Lainey will have a 2-3 inch incision site on the inside of her calf. It will be day surgery in September. Dr. K doesn't see the point in ruining a summer of playing and swimming since she has waited this long. She will be casted while in surgery and will have that first set of casts taken off 4 weeks after surgery. At that point, they will decide if she needs a second set. When casting is done, she will have physical therapy to build up her muscles/reteach her how to walk properly. The length of physical therapy will depend on Lainey's cooperation and how well she recovers.

And then what?

Then we start with Julianne. Julianne has not had anything done other than the stretching because she still has the ability to sit in a W. (You know that uncomfortable position kids sit in with their legs out to the side in a W? That!) Her ligaments and such were still loose enough that our old orthopedist said there was no point in doing anything. And then in the same breath he said 5 is a major boundary as far as having this fixed. (Remember, Lainey is 8 and Julianne is 5 now.) So, Julianne has some time but we will need to address this. Julianne is a candidate for the botox injections and then serial casting. Dr. K sees no point in me having two in casts together, so we are going to prioritize Lainey since she is getting further from the ideal therapeutic window. Then Julianne will do hers. And guess what.. not the tendon again... It's the gastroc. muscle causing hers too. If botox/casting doesn't work, then we will have to have the same surgery for Julianne.

Thank you for the prayers! We appreciate each and every prayer said on our behalf..


Thursday, June 23, 2011

FAQ's Part 1

So the current count of adoption situations that we've sent our homestudy to is (drumroll please!)


We have only been homestudy approved since Friday. Networking has been going fast and furious. We haven't heard back on any of the situations. All three of the situations are for boys with special needs, ranging from 3 days old to 6 months old. All three have different special needs-- one is very similar to our Xander.

Our children do not know about them. It's taking sending text messages/emails/facebook chats and talking in code and whispering after they have gone to bed. I know how much I looked forward to events in my life as a child and I can't imagine burdening our children with an unknown timeframe at their young ages. We could wait years. They know we are praying for a new baby and that we started the process to adopt but they don't know much beyond that.

While God could call us to an international adoption, the original situation we were asked to re-consider doesn't appear to be for us. The country is very unstable and very, very expensive. There is some discussion over whether or not we are technically even eligible to adopt from said country. So we are going to pass. We have however sent a few inquiries in about other international programs. (I'm not sure I'm allowed to name countries so I'm taking the safe road.)

I'm going to start doing a little FAQ's section because we seem to be getting the same questions a lot. Here are the questions that I've gotten quite a bit in the past few days.

Will you have to travel and what will your Fab Four do? Where will they go? Or will they travel with you?

Have no fear, we didn't forget about the Fab Four! My aunt has graciously said that she will drive up from Georgia and is pretty much living on standby (just like we are!) My children LOVE her to death, playfully argue over who's she is (the correct answer is MAMA!) and she really has a grandmotherly role in their lives. You may remember that she was on standby when I was pregnant with Solomon and she came to help hold down the fort when I was put on bedrest. In fact, when Xander was still in the hospital and the girls weren't allowed in the nursery and Brandon had to travel for work, she met me half way to take the girls down to Georgia until Brandon got back in town. And the children went down so Brandon and I could have our Anniversary Getaway. She's fabulous! Everyone should have an Auntie Karon! We have a support system here in Richmond too.. so if for some crazy reason we have to leave before Auntie Karon can get all the way here, we have a few friends lined up to tide us over in a short term way.

How long will you be gone?

This really just depends. When you adopt out of state, there is paperwork that must be filed called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC.) It is a contract between the states that controls the lawful movement of children for the purpose of adoption. (Thank you I was having trouble coming up with a concise definition!) Both states have to agree to it before we can leave whatever state our child is born in. It usually takes 7-10 days but the baby has to be discharged from the hospital before it can be started. Only one parent has to stay. Of course, Brandon and I would ideally like to stay together, but it is just another thing we have to play by ear. If our child is born here in Richmond, there would be no overnight travel away. We would spend time with the birthparents if they'd choose to want to spend time with us and we'd spend time getting to know the baby. Again, we'd have to play it by ear.

How do you decide what situations to send your homestudy to?

I briefly mentioned that I consider this the hardest part of adoption. And honestly, we don't have a "system" really. We look over the limited amount of information that we can see and we pray. A lot of very specific information is only shared with the adoptive parents after they match. At that point we could accept or reject the match. Brandon and I have researched a lot of special needs briefly, so sometimes we look deeper into the special need to refresh our memories. We have had a lot of lengthy discussions about what strengths we have as a family and as a couple as well as what resources are available here in Richmond. Part of our homestudy interviewing was to help us think through these things. We have passed over some situations, for instance, the first one this time.

This whole match process is kind of new to us. Sure, we matched and adopted before. During our first adoption, we sent our homestudy to four situations very quickly after we were approved. One we never heard back from. One the sibling set had matched right before our homestudy got there after we had a minor snafu on the paperwork being sent. And the third, we were told after we sent our homestudy that they were looking to keep the little girl in the immediate area (on the other side of the country.) The fourth time, we sent our homestudy in to try to match with a baby girl due in May and we got a call a few days later asking if we would consider a baby boy, who was one week old. That was our Xander! It was fast and simple. We prayed and obeyed and before we knew it we were matched.

I'm not expecting this process to go as quickly but I have no doubts that God can do it just that quickly again, if it is His will.

What preparations have you made for a new baby?

Babies in the Bee Household start out in Mama and Daddy's room. Part of it is because that is what we feel comfortable with. Part of our reason is because all of our children share rooms and it is easier for an adult to fall back asleep than a child. And in adoption, part of it is because we do everything we can to help bond us faster. Answering needs immediately is one way for your baby to bond to you better. We can answer more immediately, if the baby is closer to us. We haven't set up the baby's bed in our room yet. We have washed the carseats, rearranged the carseats, sorted clothes (both boys and girls clothing) and picked out first names. We have some middle names being tossed around, but for some reason we can't quite settle. I wonder if it is because the birthparents have names that they are going to ask us to use. Either way, we'll have a baby with a name and right now we are in no rush. Oh and I've nested like a crazy woman.. several times.

If you have any other questions, leave them in the comment section and I'll do another FAQ's post. We appreciate all of your prayers!

Speaking of prayers, we have an appointment at 10:15am for a second opinion for Lainey's feet. Would your pray for wisdom for the new (to us) doctor? Would you pray that Brandon and I make wise decisions while advocating for Lainey's best? And would you pray for Lainey's emotions/mental health as we walk down this road again? I'll fill you in when I get home and settled...


PS: The spacing on blogger is driving me nuts. ;) Absolutely nuts!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Small Update..

Brandon and I have sent our homestudy paperwork to an agency that places children with special needs.

We have also sent it to the agency that we worked with for Xander's adoption.

Monday, we were contacted by an international agency asking if we were by chance, interested in a little one that we inquired about in December. We've sent them some questions and they are waiting for word back from their in-country folks. This is a little scary for Brandon and I. It is the most expensive path and we have never walked the international road. I have several friends that have (or are currently) walking this road that I've soaked up information from. I guess I'm most scared we will start this process and it wouldn't work out for some reason.

So right now, we are standing before three paths. We are praying fervently for direction. Would you pray for us too? Would you pray that the path is clear?

PS: I had a very bad allergic reaction last night and ended up in the ER. Would you also pray for wisdom for my doctors as they try to come up with a gameplan?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day and the Biggest Roadblock to my Faith..

I asked Christ into my heart as a teenager but my faith never blossomed and I never grew. I was a baby Christian and very trapped. And it took me YEARS to break free.

I was trapped in a cycle. And I want to share this with you to prevent others from being trapped or other parents trapping their own children.

The scenario usually went like this:

Try really hard to be a good Christian----> Fall very, very short ---> Hide from God.

Then eventually, I'd try again, fearful that God wouldn't accept me anyway, and it always ended with falling short and hiding from God.

It took me years and years to first realize that I never could really hide from God. But that post is for another day.

I was finally set free, when I heard a sermon explaining the unconditional love of God and what that truly means. It was a foreign concept to me. You mean, I can fall short.. and I'm still loved? I can stray, come back, repent, and He'll still welcome me with open arms?

The answer, friends, is Y-E-S!

Some of you are probably saying "Really, Stephanie? You had no concept of unconditional love?"

And the answer is sadly "Yes, I had no idea. I had never been shown unconditional love.. not even human unconditional love." (Because I realize that humans are NOT perfect like God.)

I do not know my biological father. I've begged and pleaded with my mother for the information and never been told. Doctors have pressed me for health information for my biological children (and some of their health issues) and I've NEVER been able to answer any of it.

I've had two step-dads and while each one tried to convince me that they loved me and they'd always be there for me, neither of them are. The man that was my "Daddy" for 13 years, turned his back and walked away when he and my mother were divorced-- even after he promised he'd always be my daddy. Unconditional love wasn't there.

My mother only shows me love when she is in complete control of my life and when she thinks I make her look good. And that hasn't happened since well before I was 17 years old... before she kicked me out on Mother's Day 2001.

So yes, really, I had NO IDEA what unconditional love truly looked like. Once that was explained, my faith grew in leaps and bounds and then I experienced love from my husband, Brandon. He loves me as unconditionally as a human being can.

If you don't understand that God loves you unconditionally, you can't grow in a relationship with Him. God loves me with my faults, my hurts, my weaknesses, my past. He loves ME, no matter what.. sins and all. God is love! He loved me so much, He gave His only Son! For ME!

Don't you dare pity me, I have a perfect Father!!!!

So now you are probably thinking "What does this have to do with Father's Day?"

To my friends that have children: help your children understand God's unconditional love for them, by showing your children unconditional love. Show your children unconditional love by showing your spouse unconditional love. (I'm obviously not talking about cases with abuse.) I'm talking about commitment here. I know you are human and not perfect like God, but try. Don't stunt your child's spiritual growth. God's love is a foundation to your child's faith! It will do a wonder for their faith and understanding of God and His love.

I'm moved to tears thinking about Brandon loving our babies unconditionally. He loves them when they frustrate him, he loves them when they are stubborn, he loves them when they are good, he loves them when they are disobedient, he loves them when they are funny and crazy and everything in between. He loves my child from a previous marriage, he loves our biological children, he loves our adopted child. He loves the girls, he loves the boys. He loves the ones he has a ton in common with and the ones that he struggles to find common ground with. My children have NO DOUBT that their Daddy loves them-- and this makes it so.much.easier. to teach them that their Father loves them too. I'm blessed to parent our four with Brandon!

To all my friends: Know that God loves YOU unconditionally! He does!


PS: DeLainey's adoption was final June 3, 2011. She is over the moon excited to legally have Brandon's last name although she has used it informally for quite some time, by choice. It hasn't changed anything in our day to day life and she still isn't quite sure what the big deal is since this is all she knows, but it has brought an amazing amount of peace to my heart. It has been a very special Father's Day here at the Bee House!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I got a call this morning asking for two more minor details. Our homestudy will be edited to reflect that and then we are D-O-N-E!

Our homestudy will be faxed to our other agency today... :)

And now the wait begins!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

God Knows...

I'm typing from our temporary diningroom table at 1:45am. (kind of long story)

I can't sleep. Despite the antihistimine cocktail I took earlier and a busy day.

I just have to laugh. It seems God takes the most type A people and calls them to adoption. You think you like things to go "just so"? SUREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE... walk down this path with unknowns. Unknown waiting times, unknown mounds of paperwork.. and do it with joy!

I was on the phone with a sweet friend last week and she said "Steph, my goal in life is to do everything with joy. If I can't do it with joy, then something has got to give."

Oh yeah.. and she told me this during a trial. I've heard her voice telling me that same quote over and over this week.

So as I wait for the word that our homestudy is approved... (should be *any* day now) I'm living with joy. I'm soaking up time with Solomon as our baby(est), Xander as an adventurous toddler, Julianne as an artist extraordinaire and Lainey as an bookworm. Brandon and I are spending lots of time together talking and playing games. I'm tying up loose ends on my To Do list.

And I'm dying to get our paperwork to our placing agency and see if we can match with a baby boy that I noticed several months ago on their website. And I thought surely he wouldn't still be listed when we were ready... But he is...

As Julianne would say "Mommy has ants in her pants!" :)

Yes, I do. But God knew that when He put the dream of adopting in my heart. He knew it before I was born. Before my little type A personality came out. He KNEW.

Cracks me up.

So tonight, I'm going to attempt to sleep before another day of clicking refresh on my email window at least 479237489157231758913759230582357235 times starts again-- hoping to see the glorious words APPROVED so I can call and have it faxed to our placing agency!!!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Musings

Just a little note about where I've been!

Last Thursday, I saw the first rough draft copy of our homestudy. I was thrilled to pieces! I marked it up and placed it in a folder with the medical forms for the boys. (New patient forms for the doctor x 2, 2 physical forms the doctor needed to sign for the homestudy.)

I laid out clothes for all of the children and myself for the next morning.

Friday, I got up eeeearly (6:45am.. craziness I tell you!) to get ready for the homeschool convention. I had a lovely chat at the Heart of Dakota booth and really feel confident about this school year. I was given the reassurance I needed and did some troubleshooting. I also got information on two music programs in the Richmond metro area. Still praying and thinking about those.

Brandon took the children to the doctor's office but there was a problem. I told him the wrong time! (Sorry BABY!) So he had to wait 40 minutes before they could be seen, with four children. Not the smoothest experience for sure!

He got the forms filled out, went by the agency to drop off the folder, and took the kids to get lunch and to pick up steaks for dinner.

I got home and helped finish up the last minute details before our company came. We enjoyed an evening with our friends, Dan and Amy, and their youngest child, Lydia. They were in town for the Homeschool Convention. Lydia is 1 month old and so cute and snuggly! Amy and Dan even shared some snuggle time with me!

Saturday, I was feeling rough. I wasn't sick, just very fatigued and I was reminded that I needed to slow down a bit. I held down the fort and started typing up a planner for Lainey's school this year.

Sunday we laid low. Brandon has a summer cold. (UGH! Can we get a break?) But I did have to go out to Walmart to get some groceries.

Today, I found a second rough draft in my email box! YIPPEE! It should be finalized this week! As soon as it is finalized we can send it to our placement agency!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And now we wait..

I didn't realize until last night how much adrenaline I've been living on these past few weeks. It's been a flurry of paperwork and checkmarks and "doing the next thing." I stole that phrase from a mom of many, after a conversation we had when I felt overwhelmed with three children. She told me to just do what is next, to not look at my crazy lists, to not worry about tomorrow but just "do the next thing." I laugh now thinking that I was really overwhelmed with three. A little distance from something sure gives you perspective, huh?

Anyway, so yesterday we woke up and hauled four children into our doctors office. Brandon and I completed our physicals one right after the other. Then we stopped into the agency to drop off four of the six physical forms that are required. I also asked if my fingerprinting card had been found and was told that it had indeed been found. I danced right there in the office.

We ran a pile of errands and then we came home. I laid down on my bed for just a few minutes and the next thing I knew Brandon was waking me 2 hours later. When I woke up I thought back to the last few weeks, trying to figure out how I was that tired. Well, I've been working late into the night to complete our profile book. (I ordered it at 3:05 am on Tuesday.) Then waking up with the children. And I've been working on paperwork/making appointments/networking during the day too!

But it's all done. *I* don't have anything else to do. Brandon is taking the boys to their physical appointments on Friday while I go to the homeschool convention with some friends and then we are having company on Friday night. He's even promised to drop those forms off at the agency that afternoon. And then we wait. We wait for the reference forms to be received. We wait for the draft of our homestudy to be written for our proofing. We wait to receive our profile book in the mail. And then we start The Big Wait.

I'm so thankful that God gave me endurance for this busy season in our lives.

And I am so excited!! Excited to see WHO God has chosen for our family. In the meantime, I plan to read some books I checked out at the library, take lots of bubble baths and I plan to get to bed at a decent time. I also plan to enjoy my four children and to reconnect with Brandon. We will be trying to find some normalcy as we wait for the next whirlwind.


PS: Check out the timeline on the right...I've been faithfully updating it!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Julianne Arissa!!!

Birthday season has really been busy this year! (All of the children were born in Feb-June with only March as a break!)

Dear Julianne,

Goodness me! Time has flown. My pregnancy with you was the hardest but I always knew that you'd be worth it. We fought to conceive you and we fought to carry you as long as I did. I had faith that God was going to allow you to come to us even when things looked bleak. I'll never forget Daddy rubbing my hair while I was in the operating room. I was so curious about what was going on, on the other side of the blue curtain. Daddy peaked and said "You don't want to know!" Did I mention he was white as a ghost? All I wanted was to hear you cry and the first thing my OB said was "Mom, her lungs are fine." You really let those nurses have it!

You are growing up to be such a sweet, lively little girl. Your nickname has been "Sass" and "Sassy" since you were old enough to talk. You earned it honestly and for quite some time you had a very smart mouth. Overtime, it's turned into quick wit and hilariousness with a touch of sass, but you've definitely learned to reign that in.

You live life with exuberance. You smile easily. You love thoroughly! I don't know who is more excited about our next adoption, you or me. But your face lights up when you talk about "another brother or sister." Every time you see baby clothes you say "Oh this would be PER-FECT for the new baby!"

Just recently, I asked you what if the baby was a boy instead of the girl you've prayed for and you answered "It'll still be a baby and that is all that matters." Well said, my sweetie.

You feel everything to extremes and while that means that when you are happy, you are really happy, it also means when your feelings are hurt, they are very hurt. This past year you've learned that Mommy appears unaffected when you tell her that you aren't friends with her anymore. While it pierced my heart, you had to learn that I'm mommy first. I will always love you to the moon and back.

You and I are so much alike and while at times it causes us to butt heads, it also means that I can read your mind and predict your reactions usually. You also look most like me and I have to say, it's pretty amazing looking into "my" eyes when we look at each either.

I pray that you continue to live life to the fullest. I pray that you always love your youngest siblings as much as you do right now. I pray that you are always the little firecracker that you are. I pray that you never lose your stubborness but instead learn to channel it to the things that really matter.

I can't wait to see who you turn out to be. But remember our conversation in the van today. No matter how big you are, no matter how many "fingers" or "hands" you are, no matter how tall you are--you will always be my baby. I'll always be your safe place to land and I'll always be your corner. No matter what.

Love you to the moon and back, times infinity,


Friday, June 3, 2011

The Hardest Part

For me, the hardest part of the adoption process isn't the homestudy. I'm a list maker and checker by nature. So seeing the list of documents/things that are required doesn't seem daunting. Sure I think some of the things we have to provide are a bit ridiculous, but the list itself doesn't feel daunting. I go through and gather things and check them off the list. I make the appointments and check those off of the list. Sometimes I skip something and come back to it. But it all eventually gets checked off.

The wait doesn't feel like the hardest part. Although let's face it, matching with Xander happened at record speed and we aren't officially waiting yet this time.

The hardest part is looking at the situations and deciding who to send our homestudy and profile to for matching purposes.

This past Thursday, I recieved an email about a possible adoption situation from our social worker. The little boy just turned 3. His picture was adorable. The email told a bit about a special need he had. I emailed the agency the child is listed with and asked for more information. And then I realized it was 4:48pm.

Being the highly impatient person I am and knowing that most agencies close at 5, I prayed and then called the office and asked to speak with the social worker. She answered a few questions and then sent me an email with more information.

I read over the notes. And my heart broke as I read each sentence. I googled, ALOT! This child has had a rough start, to put it mildly. I wrestled with the decision.

I spoke with Brandon and after prayer, we decided that this isn't a situation we feel comfortable with for many reasons. And my heart broke again.

We aren't looking for a perfect child. In fact, we've requested to be homestudy approved for a child with special needs. But this situation was just something that we don't feel qualified to handle even with the amazing resources available to us.

This is the hardest part. The saying no. I have no doubts that we will know when to say yes. The peace was amazing when I said yes (ahem.. before talking to Brandon!) to be presented for Xander's situation. (Yes, I did call him and make sure after I jumped the gun. Don't worry!)

Sometimes you think that you are a great fit for a situation and never to hear back. In 2009, Brandon and I sent our homestudy to two different social workers in two different states for two different situations and never heard back.

In the meantime, we pray and we remind ourselves that God has already chosen which child is ours.


You win some, you lose some.. but look at the growth!

A chapter of my life closed tonight unexpectedly. I'm no longer working from home. I was completely blindsided and it was very unexpected.

It's no secret that I've had a sharp tongue in the past. It comes from years and years of having sharp tongues modeled for me. It's a product of being quick-witted. Growing up, I was the queen of getting the last word.

But it's not who I desire to be.

Here's a little of what the Bible says about it:

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. ~Proverbs 14:29

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. ~Proverbs 16:32

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. ~Proverbs 12:18

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity. ~ Proverbs 21:23

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness ~Proverbs 31:26

I'm a work in progress. I'm not going to lie. There are times that my tongue (and flesh) wins. And oh boy... do I have to repent and then go right the wrong. But tonight, I handled myself with grace. All the Scriptures that I've poured over during my time of repenting, were running through my head as I formed my response. My time in the Word was fruitful.

I'm amazed at the growth. Still hurt and confused but amazed.

As far as the adoption... have no fear! When God called us to adopt again, He knew all this! And now we are on the edge of our seat, waiting to see the provision for our adoption unfold.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Homestudy Part 2: The Home Visit

So I shared how we couldn't go to the National Zoo and Lancaster for Memorial Day weekend. Shortly after we told the girls (and all three of us starting crying) I went into my bedroom and shut the door. I needed alone time. I needed to pray to the One that knows my inner most thoughts. I prayed and told him how disappointed I was. How much I hate to let people down. How frustrating it was to plan a great trip only to cancel. I cried. And as I walked into the master bathroom to splash some water on my face, it hit me. If we moved the money from our weekend getaway fund to our homestudy, we could move up our 2nd appointment and possibly get it done this week.

So I came into the livingroom and mentioned it to Brandon. He raised his eyebrows in a way that said "Oh really? I'm not sure that is possible." And I got started.

I first emailed our social worker. It was after the office closed on Thursday but I tried anyway. Then I tried to call her office. Her voicemail was not accepting new messages.

Friday I called back. I was told she was off for the holiday and wouldn't be back until Wednesday. (Wednesday was also the day I was trying to move our appointment to!) The receptionist asked if I'd like her voicemail. I told her it was full. She put me on hold and dialed it and then came back and told me it was working and asked me again if I wanted to leave a voicemail. I said sure and whataya know! It was full. *sigh*

Monday was the holiday.

Tuesday, I called again.. the voicemail was still not accepting messages. Tuesday was Solomon's birthday, the girls had their physicals done and that afternoon we had had our carpets cleaned. Things were a bit out of place due to moving as many things as we could off of the floor. In faith, we straightened up a bit.

Wednesday morning, we finally got through and we were able to make an appointment for 1:30! Totally God. I saw her appointment book at our previous appointment. After some last minute touches and filling out a form that was still needed, we were done at 1:33. She called at 1:35 thinking she wrote our apartment number down wrong (she was on the other side of the building.)

So our second meeting of our homestudy was completed. We also found out that the paper that got hung up in Georgia last time doesn't have to be done! All we have left is the remaining four physicals. Our references will be returning their forms as well. She is in the process of drafting our homestudy as she waits for these last few straggler forms.