Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Make Me a Match

The last few days we have been pretty antsy...just waiting for some kind of news from our agency. I have been trying to stay busy with work and other things so that I don't have to think about the adoption, and I told myself that if we had been selected, we would have heard by now. So today when my cell phone rang at work, I was totally not expecting it to be the maternity worker at the agency. She had news. The birthmother had picked our profile along with another couple's in hopes of getting to interview both of us in person. This is typically not the case, in that our agency encourages birthmothers to only have a face to face interview with one couple, and if there is any question, to instead have several phone interviews. Apparently, this birthmother was pretty persistent, so they were calling to see if it was O.K. with us. It was actually a relief for me. I would definitely have trouble myself choosing a family to raise my child from a piece of paper with pictures, and I hate awkward phone conversations. So our meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday at the agency. I got to talk to the maternity worker about more specifics of the situation and it really does sound like an answer to prayer. I don't want to divulge too much too soon, as it is a real possibility that she could choose the other couple, but I promise to update with more details if we are matched next week. Talk about anticipation! Luckily, we are going to Houston on Friday for a family weekend we do every year with my Dad's side of the family, and I know it will be just the thing to help us take our mind off of things and have a good time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Parenting Tips from Experts

Jordan and I have been trying to read up on some parenting material as our social worker suggested in this time of waiting. We recently signed up for a Baby Care class at our local hospital. Most of the knowledge we already have about parenting comes from our experiences with our own families. I decided to compile a list of a few things I've learned through the years...

When potty training boys, teach them to pee outside on a bug, then skillfully paint one on the bottom of their training toilet. Mom

If your child(or maybe your niece) calls someone fat in the grocery store…drive that basket like you’re Dale Earnhardt, and get the heck out of there! Cousin Niecie

When your spouse leaves you at home by yourself with the kids…call for reinforcement from your siblings. Brother Richie

Plan lots of “scrapbooking” retreats so that you can get away with your girl friends for a weekend. Sister-in-law Jennifer

Sometimes kids really do make you nervous. It’s OK to tell them that over and over again, and hope they will just sit still. Aunt Beth

Game shows, old sitcoms, and soap operas are good babysitting tools. They will keep a child occupied for hours. Aunt Polly

Give your kids money for Christmas, and they are guaranteed to visit you on holidays. Grandmother Wines

Homemade chicken and dumplings are like Ritalin to a crazed child. Mamaw Taylor

Kids can grow up to appreciate the music you make them listen to. Even when it’s Willie Nelson. Uncle Harvey

If your son wants to be Jean Autrey, go with it. Buy him the boots, hat, and guitar. If he wants to be a girl like his big sister, keep markers out of reach…he will use them for “make up”. Sister-in-law Anna

It’s OK to let your kids get candy cigarettes and root beer at the convenience store. This lets them live out their adult fantasy so they won’t have to buy the real stuff later. Dad

Live close enough to your parents so you don’t have to pay for a babysitter or dinner. Brother David

To save money so you can afford to take all your kids and nieces and nephews to the movies, pack your purse full of sandwiches and bottled drinks. Aunt Ruthie

Embrace the name kids give you, even if it’s a little embarrassing and people who don’t know you might raise an eyebrow. Aunt Magdalene, aka “Aunt Ding-a-Ling”

Zest soap is nasty and most effective when disciplining a smart mouthed child. Mom

A handkerchief has MANY uses. Just remember what you used it for last. Dad

Take lots of pictures so you won’t ever forget. Aunt Vivian

I'd love to hear more from my family...I know everybody has a few!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A little news

We did finally hear back from the agency today. It was just a quick note to tell us they had everything they needed and were showing our profile to a birthmother today along with three other adoptive families! I don't have many details, and we probably won't hear any feed back or news until next week sometime, but wanted to update everyone so that you could be praying. We are content in whatever happens...but we are a little anxious!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The frustration of waiting

I have been putting off this post because I thought I might have more to share, but it seems we'll be waiting a bit longer. We got a call early in the morning last week from the director of the agency telling us that we had been approved, but she needed to know our financial situation at this moment as they had a birthmother coming in the same day who was due in one month and they wanted to show our profile. We were shocked, stunned, panicked, and...realistic. We told her that we hadn't been able to apply for any grants/loans because we were still waiting for our home study to be completed as all of the applications required this. We were comfortable with her showing our profile (that we would come up with the rest of the money some way if we were picked) but that they should know that we didn't currently have it. She told me she had to talk to someone else at the agency, as it wasn't her call to make, and that she would get back to me. In the mean time, she encouraged us to do our grant/loan paperwork and they would expedite our home study. That was Wednesday...this is Tuesday. Still no word about anything. Jordan was able to take off work and complete all our grant/loan paperwork and send it off last Thursday. I have left several messages with the director, but know that she has been in and out of the office. We scrambled to get everything together, and now it seems like we are back to waiting.

This is really the hardest part. I'm so ready to just be excited and have something tangible to look forward to. As of now, it has been one roller coaster after another. Hurry up...then slow down. Thanks for the encouraging notes and emails. I'll update as soon as I know more.

Friday, September 18, 2009

5 years ago today

Five years ago today we were a hopeful couple so crazy about each other we couldn't see how our life together could be anything but perfect. Of course, we woke up a couple weeks later knowing otherwise! One thing we definitely didn't expect was to be where we are now. God has a way of doing his own thing with our lives.

Five years ago I pretty much had mine all figured out. I would marry Jordan, move into an apartment for two years to save money, get a dog, buy an SUV, buy a house, and start having babies...three of them...two boys then a girl, just like my own family. It was all pretty clear, and it all happened as planned...except for the baby part, that is. Yea, you thought Jordan was the planner in the family. I definitely did my share of dreaming, and then soon after that dog, SUV, and house, I got slapped with a hard lesson. I wasn't in charge of my life, much less my fertility. It was a realization I thought I could avoid (it was really there all along). I was confused, I was sad, I was angry, I was frustrated, but through it all, I was hopeful. I knew God created me for a purpose, gave me a desire for children for a reason, and loved me more than I could comprehend. So I also knew there must be a plan that was better than my own imagination. Part of that plan was finding new friends in the mist of our struggles that understood exactly what it felt like to walk in our shoes. Friends who became an invaluable source of comfort and encouragement and who taught me a lot about myself and a lot about love. Another part was discovering a new passion for adoption...even before we have been given the gift of a child.

I think a part of that plan that stands out to me most today, though, is my marriage. Never did I dream that I could be happy five years into marriage without children. Never did I think I would have a husband who could love me through such lows and disappointment. Never did I foresee something so hard being what pulled us closer together. For most of you, I don't need to tell you how lucky I am. You know Jordan. But just for a refresher, here is just a glimpse at the type of guy he is....

He's always sending me flowers for no reason. He loves to bring my favorite thing (Sprinkles cupcakes) to my work to surprise me. He once made a video for my birthday with all my friends and family. He does the laundry. He did all our loan/grant paperwork himself. He cooks. He tells people that I'm the best thing that's happened to him behind my back. He goes to chick flicks even when he would rather see ANYTHING but. He rubs my feet even though I hate feet and rarely touch his. He text or emails me he loves me daily. He's usually the first to make amends when we fight even if it's not his fault. He rescued me on the side of 635 in rush hour traffic when he had warned me numerous times to get gas the day before. He empties the dishwasher. He loves his mama (& his sister)...and that's just to name a few.

I love you Jordan...way more than if our life was perfect or how I planned it! Happy 5th Anniversary!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The nursery is growing

I completed the first nursery project. I'm liking the idea of vinyl wall decals that I have found all over the internet in places like Etsy. A couple of months ago, though, I found something even cooler; cut outs made from scraps of vintage wallpaper. I fell in love with these fun trees from Inke Heiland, but nearly passed out when I saw how much they cost! Sorry Inke.

I think my friend Kara would be so proud, because I decided I could make something similar for much less. With some searching for just the right scraps on Etsy...viola! My tree!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


We are spent, but the home study is OVER! Duke was a complete angel. No jumping, burping, or farting the whole three hours! And Jordan wasn't too bad either. We began preparing for today early in the week with cleaning and fixing...and when I say we, I mean Jordan. He has been so helpful, and knowing the stress I was under (as we have quite a busy weekend), he took the initiative to clean most of the house, fix a few odds and ends, and wash the clothes. I had a baby shower to attend this morning, and when I returned everything was sparkling! Our social worker came over around 1:00 and we showed her around the house pointing out where smoke detectors, cleaning supplies, and medicine were kept. She looked in every room and closet and even the garage, seemed satisfied, so we began the final part of my interview. Meanwhile, Jordan worked on his brisket that he was smoking (in the rain) for tomorrows Cowboys game and our church small group get together (so he's pretty much super husband). He joined me after a little while, and our social worker asked us questions about how we planned to raise our child ranging from education to discipline. We also talked about different situations with birth families (how often we planned to see them, what if they were a different religion, physical and emotional issues, etc.) and how we felt we would relate to them. We discussed with her what we had learned from our required reading and from meeting with the couple who had adopted from Greenville. She told us that she really liked our profile, and that we should get more feedback soon from the agency on whether anything had to be tweaked or changed. She mentioned that it would take her a week or two to complete our home study recommendation to give to the agency, but that she only had good things to tell them. She also said that the director had encouraged her to quickly complete our home study as she already had a few birthmothers she wanted to show our profile! Now starts more waiting.

How could I be anything but angelic?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Come study our home...

We found out today that our paperwork was received and our final home visit is scheduled for September 12th. This is when our assigned social worker will do a home safety and fire inspection and conduct a follow up interview with the both of us at our house. This is also when she will meet Duke. (we are currently working on his manners, though I fear it may be too late) We still need to do some "baby proofing" in the form of outlet covers and cleaning up the fireplace(since we really don't use it and don't have a screen). We also have to be prepared for a mock fire drill. Jordan wanted to really ham this part up, but I have convinced him otherwise.

We are exhausted, and frankly ready to get all this technical stuff over with, but just when we think we've finished all the paperwork we can stand...we started filling out more. Many of you have been surprised and asked us how and why are we paying for this whole thing.

Let me start with the WHY...
If you do any research on adoption, you will find that the price to adopt varies greatly between domestic and international, private and agency, and even agency to agency. This was something that puzzled us until we dug a little deeper. We knew early on that we wanted to adopt domestically (mostly because raising a child from birth and on was something we really desired for our first child, and because openness was important to us). Then we considered private vs. agency. If you know Jordan and I, we tend to go along with the theory, "you get what you pay for" and found that there was a lot of personal leg work that went into private adoption, there were more risks, and I'll be honest, we knew very little about this whole adoption world and really felt like we needed a guide. But when we looked at different agencies, we learned there were big differences in cost there as well. So we set off to decipher what all this money was going to. We attended a very informative "Affording Adoption" meeting through a local church and quickly found out that the money in adoption was divvied out between processing fees, attorney fees, social worker fees, counseling, and birth family related fees. The later two being what made the price differ. We were encouraged at this meeting to find an agency that didn't offer any maternity care for birthmothers, as this was thought to be something that was "not our responsibility". I left a little jaded(to say the least), and was relieved to find out my husband felt the same. Now let me mention that none of these advisers had open adoptions, and I am sure that their advice was well intentioned. However, it opened our eyes to the disparity of our society, the preconceived ideas and stereotypes about birth families, and the lack of us as Christians to reach out and show love to those in situations unlike our own. We had a strong desire to not only make our family complete, but to help mend a family that was breaking. We chose our agency because of the extensive care and respect they give to birth families and the education they provide to empower all families involved in adoption. This is not something that just takes resources.

So for the HOW...
As you probably guessed, we don't have $25,000 laying around. We are lucky that Jordan's work has a $5,000 adoption reimbursement program and that there is a BIG federal tax credit now available; however, these don't cover the entire amount and we still have to have the money up front at placement. We have prayed hard about this, and we do trust that God will provide. We are now working on applying for a interest free loan through the ABBA fund to help pay for some of the costs until we get our reimbursements. We also know that some of you would like to be a part of this whole endeavor with us. We have already had some VERY generous family and friends pitch in, and for that we are beyond grateful. Each contribution has come at a time when we were really discouraged and overwhelmed, and I feel like they have been God's way of telling us to trust this plan that is so beyond us. Pride is so hard to swallow, but we are hoping that by being open about our situation, we will give you the opportunity to share in our blessing.