Tuesday, September 27, 2011

General News and Updates

I am so glad that I get to announce so much good news in one day!

Well we have decided on what we will name our little miracle....
We hope to soon introduce to you all (in person)
Brian and I battled with middle names for a bit, but ultimately felt Hope was perfect. Without Hope we wouldn't even be bringing Olivia home... how could it not be represented in her life forever? She alone has given us so much hope, and I haven't even met her. I think it's perfect. I can't wait to hold her in my arms. My baby girl. (I better stop. I am getting teary eyed)

Today decided upon a lawyer, we just need to meet with her to make it official. I feel God led her to us and that he will guide her into helping us the best way possible. That is one less worry off of my plate.

God has been good to us throughout this entire thing. Everyone knows that. He has just taken this situation and handled it. He has spoken to people to donate both money and baby items...we've had so many people rooting for us and praying for us. I am completely blessed by amazing people around me.... We received information recently that someonehas been called by God to donate a substantial amount to our legal needs, anonymously. In the tune of $2,000. I am awestruck. I know I shouldn't be, God said he would provide and well, he is! The person/people who did this have just touched mine and Brian's hearts so much. We will forever be grateful to everyone that has chipped in, no matter the amount. God is so great.

We still need about $1800 (LESS THAN HALF!!!) to officially be able to start the process of being Olivia's legal parents. $1800 is a drop int he bucket to the $4000 we need in total and I hope that folks can find it in their hearts to donate. Seriously a small amount means a lot. Each dollar gets us closer to being the mommy and daddy God has called us to be (and be it legally). My heart is pleading for you to answer if God is speaking to you. I don't mean to push anyone, i never would ...but anyone can look at their own children imagine the way my heart must feel. So close to having our baby, but just $1800 and some paperwork short. No amount will stop me from being Olivia's mom, just like any mom wouldn't be kept from their child. I know God is moving in people, and he will provide. I just need to wait, and listen.

Because the donation has come in a way other than paypal, I am posting a thermometer to show our progress, the chipin will be left so that people can donate, but weekly, I will add a thermometer to show the true progress (including cash).
(If you are on facebook, and could post a status with my blog link, it would mean the world to me)

(If you are on facebook, and could post a status with my blog link, it would mean the world to me)

I also want to take another opportunity to thank everyone in my life. I have been truly humbled by this experience. I am amazed at the things happeneing around me. God has put some truly amazing people in my life- nothing short of angels. Brian and I  (and Olivia) love you and thank you y'all. We will forever me indebted and grateful.

Devil, Get Back!

OF course I know it is normal for me to be a little stressed right now.  Pulling 50+ hours a week at work, getting ready for my love to be there in a few short weeks (mentally, emotionally and physically), creating a nursery, getting baby supplies, registering, finding a lawyer, working out my work schedule, finding a pediatrician, updating my insurance, getting physicals...the list goes on.
I know that I wouldn't be a normal person if my nerves weren't a little wonky. The jitters are a part of becoming a parent... but the devil has really been working on me overtime. Like, wake up in the AM feeling like vomiting, upset tummy all the time, zero sleep..that kind of overtime.
Am I still excited?, OMG debating the answer to this would be a waste of time. Am I going to let the devil get me down?...again no brainer. but he's been making me question things I know better than to question....

"what kind of mom am I going to be?"  Of course I know I will make some mistakes, but all in all we will do an amazing job. I've tried for this for four years and imagined it for many many more than that...but he keeps bringing me to question by abilities.

"will I have everything done in time?" Well no, most people have more than they need of some things and not enough of others- I also know this. Well, the practical side of me knows this... the side that the devil keeps trying to get is stressed that she won't have a nursery (who cares if she doesn't at first, she will be in the room with me... bassinet, helluuurrr)

"have I even thought of everything I have to do?" Probably not.. but again the real me knows that most parents don't. Most things can be worked out later, I just need to hit the important stuff... (pediatrician, place to sleep, food, diapers, LOVE)

There are a million more questions that race through my head all day, trying to freak me out. The devil has succeeded in some of these, but I am trying to keep things in perspective. I mean- look at how far God has come already! why do I doubt myself?!- I have God backing me! none of this would have been done without God speaking to all of the people he has spoken to thus far. No man alone could have made this happen, without God using them. God obviously feels it is my time and that I am ready to raise one of his tiny little miracles, he has entrusted me to do this. Wow. He knows I am capable and he will give me the answers and the ability to do what needs to be done. I feel so silly for worrying so much.

A great mental picture... (but before you laugh, understand how much it helped me. I instantly felt better)
I was straightening my hair this morning. Completely overwhelmed and starting to feel nauseated... the devil really had me good...lightheaded, dizzy, hot flashes, nausea... Then God spoke to me and quite honestly made me feel really stupid. He said to my heart "look what I have done. Do you think I spent the past four years of your struggle just sitting around watching you? No, I was planning your blessing, mapping out everything for you. Continue to give it all to me, tell the devil to get back and let me finish working" Hallaluyer! so...standing in my nickers with a flaming hot straightener in my hands I proceeded to (very audibly) tell the devil to step away, God had this and that I DO NOT appreciate him making me sick over this, I have a baby to prepare for and I don't have time for his games!  Then I prayed for God to give me peace and assurance that only he can provide. That he guide us to an honest lawyer, continue to speak to the birth mom that we are where he has led her to trust, and provide all the items we need.
I instantly felt better, no nausea no tummy aches...and I just feel so confident that he will provide and grant us our every need...he's already started to!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Four long years becomes one short month

I thought my first real post (after the “getting to know us” post) was going to be about the decision we had made to go through an adoption agency, and the stress of coming up with almost $20,000 to adopt.
I thought I was going to explain about the conversaion I had with the agency rep, how we were goingto have to continue to wait 10-12 months and go through so many legal and personal hurdles.
Never in a mllion years did I ever imagine my first post would be about the precious little girl we were chosen to adopt.
So many of you already know this and want the whole scoop…and as any doting mom to be would….I am willing to spill. (er dying to spill, actually).
I could tell this story a million times, I could scream every sentence from the top of a mountain until my voice was gone…and then I could write it 150 times on a chalkboard. Everytime I say the word’s that were asked of me when I got the phone call that change my life, I fall in love with my baby girl all over (and fight back tears).
I. AM. GOING. TO. BE. A. MOM. (by Christmas at that!!!) wow.

Ok let me get the to the meat:

For the past few weeks I have been what you may call nesting (I didn’t know it then but it’s funny that in reality I was!) I had this overwhelming sence that God was going to bless us with a child. Now, I have always known this, and never cared how- adopted or biological. But the past few weeks have been different. I have been working like crazy in my house….ask anyone. The “guest room” could have only been considered that if you call all my half finished crafts and homeless items (you know- the one’s you have no idea what to do with but you feel bad getting rid of it) guests. Over the past few weeks the room got cleaned out, we bought new furniture, I started painted, and (gasp) my house has stayed spotless AND organized. Who knew our house had three bedrooms? I always thought it was a one bedroom with 2 extremely large closets.

During these past few weeks Brian and I actually had a sense that God was going to bless us soon…and by soon we thought within the next year.
We had heard about some folks that went through Bethany Christian Service and thought that it would be a nice place to adopt. On Monday at lunch, I spoke to the office manager and….we’ll just say I was pretty overwhelmed. There was a list a mile long of things I had to do: credit reports, background checks, fingerprinted, home study, application of approval to apply, actual application (yeh, I know), physicals, vet records for the dogs, 4 scrap books for prospective birth moms, a letter to birth moms, I can keep going but I think I made the point clear. Then she dropped the whammy- $20,000.

What did I think? Can’t….breath…..

It was all so overwhelming. Of course, I was willing to give it a try (anything for my baby) but I was just so lost on where to start. I sat in my car for a few moments and prayed. It went something like “God, you know my desire; you know my need for a child. You have spoken to me that you are going to answer my prayers, I feel it….but I don’t know what you want me to do to be in your will so that this blessing will come. Please guide me. If you are answering this prayer then I know you will provide. Please take this situation and handle it, because it is above me. I know you will show me the way. It’s yours. Amen”
I felt better….still wasn’t sure how I would get $20,000 but it wasn’t my problem…God would provide it.

(This is when I posted in on FB that we thought God was leading us to BCS)

That evening on the way home I got a call and the dialogue was something like this (the best I can remember it, as I am pretty sure I was suffering a stroke during it)
Rhonda: “Cari, how are you”
Me: “Fine?” (thinking, “who dis be?”)
Rhonda: “Cari this is Rhonda… How would you like to be a mommy by Christmas?”
Rhonda: “Cari?”
ME:….. (Insert sobbing which sounded more like a whale dying)….. “What? Really?”
Rhonda: “Yes, honey. I know someone with a beautiful baby girl that is due November 1st and needs a wonderful mommy to adopt her”
ME: (more whales dying) Oh my God…
Rhonda: Are you interested?
Me: yes, I would love that.
We talked longer but I am not sure she could understand me and my blubbering. She did a good job acting like she did though ;)

A MOM BY CHRISTMAS?! What? The last thought I had was that maybe by NEXT Christmas I’d have a baby….but this Christmas? In 6 weeks tops? I seriously thought I was going to vomit. (In a good way…yes there is a good way to vomit…don’t believe me? Try for 4 years to be a mommy then find out it is going to happen in a month- thought so)

I mean really, can you believe that? How else could this have happened other than divine intervention?
I can’t explain our emotions right now.
Brian is already wrapped and I am a MESS. I honestly feel like a kid on Christmas. Scratch that- a kid on Christmas aspires to feel like ME. ;) (In fact I think the new saying with me “I feel like Cari in September”)

**************This is where the public service announcement starts****************

We wouldn’t trade our girl for anything in the world…even though we weren’t prepared to get her this quickly. I am so happy actually, that I get her soon. But this leaves us with nothing planned and no items for her ..and very little time to do it in.
Our biggest need is for legal funds… If you look to the left of the page I have set up a chip in. It is secure and through paypal. I am a paypal verified member as well. (which means I am legit). Please think about donating to helping us finally make this little one our very own. It would mean the world to us. Pray. and contribute as God deems fit.

As you can see, we are only 1% towards our goal with a long way to go in a few short weeks.

We are also in need of baby items… it is a girl, so girl items would be best. I am not opposed to hand-me downs and thrift store finds (I actually love bargain shopping, just prefer it be clean and safe)
Most of all- PRAY. Pray for us to get the money we need, the items we need and for a safe delivery for our baby girl and her birth mom. Also pray we will be the parents God wants us to be and that we raise our little girl for his glory.
We love you all. And we thank you- we truly have amazing people in our lives (even strangers that have contacted me) I can’t tell you how much we love you all!

Stay tuned for more postings from us about our progress and OUR BABY!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Background of Us: Cliff Notes version

I started this blog as a way to update family and friends on our story of trying to become parents. I also hope it serves as a blessing to people in the same situation we are in. I know many times it can feel as though you are alone. Trust me, I’ve been there. We all need support and someone who has been down the same path. I hope it inspires everyone who reads it. I plan to be honest and open about everything I go through. I will not necessarily “air my dirty laundry”, if you will…but I also will not sugar coat the situations we encounter. I want to be honest and open so that people struggling with having a child can relate and be blessed by it.

So… if you don’t know us you are probably asking exactly what is our story? …and I am happy to share.

I met Brian completely by mistake. See, I was on a blind date (a group one). I can’t even recall my blind date’s name. Eh, oh well…he doesn’t matter ;)
Anyhow, he asked Brian along so that he’d have a buddy for moral support since I had friends there. Yeh so what-his-name and I did not hit it off. But this charming baby blue eyed fella kept me laughing all night… I later learned his name was Brian.
It was January, people…and the four of us (me, my friend Caryn, Joe Schmo and Brian) sat outside the restaurant after everyone was through eating for hours freezing our rumps off and having a blast joking around (what’s his name was not so much).
Caryn and I got into the car to leave and I recall saying “The guy Joe Schmo brought is amazing!”
Apparently Brian was impressed as well, and did whatever it took to get my number. Within 24 hours, he asked me out…and I said yes. This was in January 2005…We dated for a while then in 2008 we said “I do” in the most adorable little ceremony.

We have now been married for almost four years and for almost 4 years, we have been struggling to be parents. We always accepted the idea of adoption…and even decided to even if I could birth a child. We always knew an adopted child would be loved just like a biological one- by not only us but every heart we know.
For four years I have tried, I have cried, I have suffered the loss of little one’s I hadn’t met yet (through adoption and miscarriage), I have prayed….I can’t tell you the nights I lie in bed sobbing and praying for God to bless us…and the days I even (shamefully) blamed God for our pain. Over the years I have had friends console me countless times, people afraid to tell me they had conceived because they knew my hurt, and prayers sent up on my behalf. I did struggle sometimes with the question of “why would God give me such a desire to be a parent, and then leave me to struggle like this?”

I don’t want you to think it is all bad though. Most of the time I knew God would not fail me and lived by his word “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”. This became the verse for our family. It is God’s promise to US.
 God has sent angels to lift me up and pray for me- mostly through the form of family and friends but sometimes even through strangers.

Just last weekend I had a kind soul ask to pray for me and Brian, which I met at a yard sale. What a God moment!
God sends us reminder everyday of his love for us, and that we shouldn’t give up trusting in him to provide. He knows we will have days where we will feel hurt, sad, and even angry but if we praise him in this storm- he will bless us when the rain stops.