Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pray for our hearts

This past week has been full of surprises and blessings. On Monday I received word a total stranger wanted to bless me. Then my dear friend Kim shared our story on her blog along with a challenge to her readers to bless two adoptive families, ours being one of them.

On Friday we received word from our agency our Letter of Approval was "in the mail" by China and hopefully the hard copy would be received at our agency by the following week. This is the single most important paper in adoption from China. It's the document which states "she's yours" and after a couple more steps you can come get her!

Late last night a dear friend sent me a message on Facebook inquiring if the child on an advocacy page was our Sophie? I was doubtful as I hadn't seen it, but I had been super busy this week to scroll through everything in my news feed. When I arrived at the post, I wasn't quite sure she was our child. She has changed so much! She has grown and looks so much older. If she wasn't wearing the sunglasses we had sent her for her birthday I might still have my doubts. But after staring at her photo for a long time, I realized it was HER!

It was a strange mix of emotions. Normally an adoptive family can find photos of their child online. Usually they are on advocacy pages designed to make aware the need for the child to be adopted. When we started the process for Sophie a mom sent me photos of her as an infant. The woman had visited the orphanage and had taken photos. We've received photos from our agency during the process several times, but there was something about this particular photo that brought about a lot of fear and a sense I did not have control over anything in this process. (Did I mention I was a control freak?)

Perhaps it was the caption included with the photo which read in part Sophie was starting preschool and she was particularly close to her foster mother. This stung a little. Both Ellie and Isaac were in institutional settings and hadn't seemed to bond or grieve the loss of a caretaker.. Both are fiercely attached to me as their mom. It's a strange feeling knowing someone else loves your child and someone else has been there before you. Sophie has been with the same family since she was ten months old and is a little over three now. We adopted Isaac at eleven months and he will be three in June. I cannot imagine him being ripped from my arms and given to a stranger and taken to a foreign land!
My heart grieves for her, it grieves for myself in a selfish way. I've had the adoptions of rainbows and unicorns as my friend Jill tells it. I haven't experienced hard. I haven't experienced rejection.

The reality is, more than likely we will be traveling in less than ten weeks. We will be leaving our little ones in the care of their older sister, brother and close friends and family.
I know God has this and I know to pray for peace. I know I will receive it but I'm sitting here in my bucket of anxiety for just a few more moments.
Will you take the time to pray for us, for Sophie's heart, for our kiddos staying home? Pray for safe and uneventful travels? I covet your prayers during this time more than anything else.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Updates and Blessings!

Lots of exciting things have been happening here at our house! It's been a crazy time because Chris went back to work unexpectedly in January. This has been quite a blessing because he works from home most days and we will be able to pay for a ton of adoption debt much sooner.

Summer made the Dean's list her first semester of college and has been nominated as a Golden Apple scholorship. We will learn either this month or next whether she was chosen for the program.
Summer has also graciously volunteered to take care of the little ones and allow Chris and I both to travel when we adopt Sophie.

Wyatt is doing a LOT of guitar playing and has been our go to guy for help with the little ones now big sister has a lot of college studying to do.He has been learning to drive and hopefully will get his license at the end of the summer.

Ellie is continuing to thrive in Pre-K and has managed to accomplish a lot despite her disability. She learned how to zip her own winter coat this winter, something I didn't think was possible. She is looking forward to Sophie coming home.

Isaac is CLIMBING everywhere and because of this, we decided to forgo any more physical therapy. We have many therapists coming and going during the week and I had grown quite weary of the schedule. Dropping one therapy he had mastered seemed like the right choice. We doubled speech therapy to twice a week and he continues to make progress and is at about a nine month old for speech development.

Chris and I celebrated our TWENTY-FIFTH wedding anniversary on Tuesday 2/24. Chris' parents treated us to a delicious dinner and we may take an overnight trip to Chicago this weekend, weather permitting.

It gets crazy here quite a lot! Ellie and Isaac have developed their own personalities and squabble quite a bit. I know I will have my hands full when Sophie comes home. I am looking forward and also cringing thinking about the chaos! Chris has been so great indulging my nesting behavior. We converted Ellie's room into a shared bedroom for two little girls. I had been pouring over Pottery Barn Kids catalogs but in the end, our budget really couldn't dream that big. My friend Martha told me about some cute beds she was ordering for her girls (she's adopting too!) and they were right up our alley, bargained priced at Ellie was quite helpful, handing Daddy tools and holding the parts to the bed. JCpenney had an incredible sale on cute bedding and we painted the room a light grey.

I have been worried a lot with three kiddos and all needing mama at the same time, I wouldn't be able to do everything I need to do to run a household. Chris put new shelves in the pantry so we could be better organized in the kitchen. Summer was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease and so all of my cooking must be from scratch and gluten free. The days of just calling for a pizza when mom is tired are somewhat behind us. I find myself worrying a lot about cooking and how I will accomplish all this once I have a child home who will have been ripped away from everything she knows and unlike Ellie and Isaac won't be a baby when she comes home.

But then God calms my fears and lets me know this IS His plan. This week we received notice our paperwork was in review and our Letter of Approval should be very close! How close is anyone's guess but we home in the next couple of weeks. If this happens we should be on target for late May or early June travel!
We got new pictures of Sophie last month and she is thriving and looks big for her age!

This morning I woke up to a message on Facebook from my friend Courtney who lives in Nashville Illinois. I have never met Courtney in person however, we were introduced on Facebook as she was in the early days of adopting and a bit frustrated. My dear friend Jill and I in many messages were able to convey to her how amazing our agency was. Long story short, her and her husband adopted the sweetest little girl from China and she is thriving! No longer an orphan!
This morning's message from Courtney was asking my permission to give my name and info to a friend of hers who really wanted to bless an adoptive family. An adoptive mom herself, she wanted to give back by hosting an online 31 Products party and donating her profits towards adoption fees. Courtney had shared our story with her.. Even though I was not looking to fund raise with any thing other than our car decals, I just felt this was such a blessing coming to me especially by way of "organizing". I have never even met Melanie personally, yet this morning felt such a connection to her.
Our 31 fundraiser will run for one week. Today March 3-Monday March 9. It's short and sweet so you can get your products faster! So if you are a 31 fan and need a product, please follow the link and directions on the right side bar. If you are viewing this blog on a mobile device you will have to click "view full site" at the bottom of the page before being able to click the link.

I hope to be able to report very SOON our Letter of Approval has arrived!