Thursday, November 14, 2013

November Update....

Sorry this is so late, but then again, I'm always late so maybe this would be considered on time? Anyway, we are still holding steady at #7 on our adoption agency's wait list. During this season of Thanksgiving I am still struggling, but for today I'm choosing to be thankful.  It helps I got to go to a MOPS meeting this morning and have fellowship with so many sweet women! I am blessed by their hearts for the Lord and individual personalities.  I'm sure most of them don't even know God is using them to lift my spirits but he is!  He is so good to do that when most of the time I am an ungrateful mess.  Pity parties abound, but in His love for me he shows me I'm not alone. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Brother Got Hitched!

October 26, 2013 my brother Chuck married my new sister-in-law Kim! I only have a few pics since the girls and I were both in the wedding, but here you go! Kim looked beautiful and my brother is very happy.  He swears he didn't tear up when he saw her coming down the aisle, but I disagree : )  I'm thankful that Kim is "officially" part of our family!  Camy and Hadley LOVED being flower girls and Will looked so handsome in his little tux.  It was a great day!  I pray that God blessed their marriage and hopefully provides many more nieces and nephews for me, lol!  I love you both!

 The beautiful bride before the ceremony
True Love! 
The first dance 
 The beautiful couple
 These two have been through a lot together.  A very sweet moment
 The kids huddled up
 Pretty little flower girls!

 The kids danced the night away! Hadley would not hold still for a picture!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall is Upon Us!

This is our first Fall in Missouri so we are making new family traditions and finding some cool stuff to do! We went to Ekhart's Farm and picked apples, rode animals, few animals, rode rides, and played. We all had a great time! We even got to put our car on a ferry boat to get there! I'm happy to be making memories with our family here :)
The girls helping chop apples to make homemade applesauce from the tons of apples we picked!
This made the house smell so good!

Riding the Ferry over the Mississippi River!

Camy loves this giant squash!
My big girl picking apples
My world
Riding rides together 
Hadley riding the pony like a champ
Camy picked the camel
So pretty!
Team work
The ultimate tire swing!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October Update

We received our October wait list number update last week and we are still holding strong at number 7! We weren't surprised by this since we (I) have been stocking our agency's facebook group for news or referrals. Right now it is considered rainy season in Ethiopia.  During this time courts are closed for roughly two months, but in the past referrals have been given during this time.  For an orphan to be referred to a waiting family their orphanage has paperwork to complete and once that is done it is given to the agency.  This process doesn't really involve the federal courts, however it does involve regional courts.  Regional courts have different schedules than the federal so they may or may not be closed, close for a shorter time, close for a longer time, it is all very confusing.  So like I said, in the past children have been referred during court closure, but it looks like that will not be happening this year.  On a positive note, court reopens this month! We are praying diligently to see our son's face this month.  I absolutely can. not. wait. to post about the day we get our referral call.  Of course I have this beautiful picture in my mind of how it will be, but realistically I will probably miss the call since my phone likes to die or go on silent all by its self or be in the middle of somewhere and go insane and start crying to strangers....Either way it's going to be great : )

And now for some info. on my already present sweethearts.  Camy and Hadley are both loving school and doing great.  Hadley started gymnastics a few weeks ago and she is amazing! I don't want to brag or anything but I see gold in her future!  Camy is finishing up the fall soccer season and loves her team.  I am slowly decorating our house and it will be completed in approximately 8 years.  At this point we will probably move again before it is finished, LOL!  I am also trying to be conscious of the time I get with the girls and focus on all I have.  I tend to be a glass half empty kind of person, my dad and I call it being a realist, so I have a tendency to focus on what I don't have; my son.  Everyday is an exercise in releasing Grayson's well-being, health, and safety to the Lord who loves him much more than I do.  Good times Y'all! But seriously, we are blessed beyond measure and it would serve us all well to remember that.  Have a great weekend, and as a true Missouri resident would say, Go Cards!!! (St. Louis, not even those dirty Louisville Cardinals!)

 Hadley being Camy's baby
 If Josh ever looks at this blog, he will be so happy I put this on here, hehehe!
 Cats fans no matter where we go
 Soccer mustaches
 Hadley fixed mommy's hair
 Rams day at school
 So cool, she has to wear shades inside
 Cameryn's daughter, Abbey Grace. In the baby carrier, in a restaurant
 Sweet sisters
 Bath baby
Pretty Girl
Rockin that hat

Monday, September 16, 2013

School Time!

As promised, photos of the girls' first days of school this year.  Keep in mind that both my children started "school" the week we were to move into our new house and I took pictures, yay  me!  We survived getting supplies and clothes and managed to get some pretty cute pictures to boot all while packing to move for the second time in 9 months.  Can you tell I'm a little proud we survived : )
Camy started Pre-K and absolutely loves it.  Originally we were just going to send her for three half days a week.  Well, a couple of weeks before school was to start I get a phone call stating that only three kids were signed up for the half day program and so they were going to cancel that class.  Oh no, what were we going to do! The wonderful school offered us the five day a week half day Pre-K for the same tuition as three days!! I was not mentally prepared to send her to school every day of the week but after discussion and prayer it seemed like this was the direction the Lord was leading us.  He is so good and has shown me in many ways that this was a good decision.  For example, when I picked Camy up on Friday of her first full week she informed me that she doesn't get to go back to school until Monday! Can you believe it, two full days of no school, bummer!  My little student is thriving and loves her new school.
This was also Hadley's first year of Parent's Day Out.  She goes one day a week and is doing better than I thought.  Hadley is a momma's girl and is very attached to me so I knew PDO would be a little bit of a challenge, but would also be really good for her.  Since she only goes one day a week she isn't really in a "routine" but she is getting used to the class procedures and listens to her teachers well (at least that's what they tell me, LOL!)  Usually she cries for a few minutes when I drop her off and I sit on the other side of the wall out of sight until she stops. From there she learns songs, has circle time, recess, lunch, and nap.  She has been singing up a storm at home, and it warms my heart to hear her talk about Jesus and the bible.  I'm hoping that as the year goes on drop off with not be so hard, but other than that she is doing great.  I can't believe she will be two and a half in a couple of weeks!
I need another baby in this house ASAP : )

Monday, September 9, 2013

September Update

Our official number on the wait list for our adoption is lucky #7!
Ever since our paper work was updated and we once again became active on the wait list I have been living with this sense of expectation.  Some mornings I would wake up and "just know" today would be the day we would get our referral call.  I would hear a song on the radio, or feel a sense of peace and I would think, "This is going to be the day!"  Obviously I have been wrong all of those times, LOL!  I don't say this to complain or be ungrateful, that is just what the past month has been like.  All those moments of peace or excitement or even anxiety have been reminders to me that God is in this and He sees me. And even more precious to me, He sees my son. I cannot wait for the day I get to see him too!

Aside from anxiously awaiting our referral phone call we MOVED!  Yes for the second time in 9 months we moved all of our worldly possessions with two children in tow.  We had some amazing friends from church that helped us with carrying our junk, to babysitting and painting.  I have prayed, and I know many other people have prayed for us to find good friends when we moved to St. Louis and oh how God has provided them!  Our gratitude to them and to the Lord for sending them to us is huge!

We are two weeks into our new home and there is still much to be done, but it definitely feels more like a home.  We can finally settle into Missouri and start to grow some roots here. Camy is in Pre-K (bad mommy needs to post about this) and Hadley started her first year of PDO (also need to post this!) Life is moving forward and to think that we will soon be here an entire year seems crazy!  This is where God has us and I'm excited to make many many  memories in our new house, with friends both old and new, family, and our son.  God is so good and I don't deserve a bit of it.  

My next post will either be about the girls starting school or seeing my son's face for the very first time!  Stay tuned.....  : )

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happy, Happy, Happy

We are some big Duck Dynasty fans around here so I am very glad to call this post, "Happy, Happy, Happy" for more than one reason.  The biggest news is that our home study update has been completed and our USCIS paperwork has been approved.  Our precious social worker completed the home study last Friday.  Me and the girls raced over to pick it up before they closed.  We had to wake Hadley up from her nap, but hey, we all have made sacrifices at this point! ha! From the agency's office we went straight to Fed-Ex and our lovely little packet arrived at the USCIS office this past Monday.  I emailed them on Tuesday and again on Wednesday just "checking the status" of our paper work.  I was overjoyed to see an email from them on Wednesday afternoon saying we had been approved!  Of course this email was immediately forwarded to Lesley (our agency director) just in case she were to get the file of our precious son any time soon. I am so thankful that the Lord allowed us to grow during this set back and showed us His power by getting everything corrected in record time.  He is so good in it all!

In other happy news, we got our August update number and we are number.......

I am not 100% sure of this, but based on the families that are on hold and the last infant boy referral this means we could be the next family to receive our referral, which means we are "Happy, Happy, Happy"!  Our agency has partnered with two new orphanages so there were many children matched with their forever families last month, hence our huge move forward on the wait list.  God redeems brokenness and heals and one of his tools for this is adoption. I always, seriously always, feel sadness when I get excited for new families getting to see their child/children for the first time via a referral.  I don't like rejoicing in the fact that an orphan was made so now a family can be complete.  But the truth of the matter is that in a sinful broken world there are orphans. Since I can't change that fact, I have to rejoice when I see a family stepping out in faith to make one less. A child that has experienced trauma and loss now has a family to walk along side of them on the road to healing.  That is God. That is His love shining in the darkness of loss.  Redeeming the brokenness and giving new life.  Congrats to all the Lifeline and West Sands families that got to see their sweet ones for the first time this month!!  Praying for quick court and embassy appointments for you all : )

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

One Year of Waiting

Today marks one year that our dossier has been in Ethiopia. The day before my birthday no less. I have wondered where we would be on this process on this day for awhile now and I must say I had no clue. 
Our first wait list number was 64 and we are now officially #22. We have moved to a new state, Josh got promoted, Hadley is close to potty trained, Camy starts Pre-K in less than a happens while you wait.  Have I "waited well" so far? In some respects yes and some respects no. My heart loves my son already and is desperate to see him, hold him, and bring him home.  I have cried more than I care to admit when my knowledge of God can't get control of my emotions.  I have read countless books, blogs, and articles. I will have read through the bible completely here in just a couple more weeks. My marriage has been stretched and grown. My views on the world and the church have evolved. My faith is indeed much stronger than it was last year. So even when it has been ugly on my part, God has used this wait for his glory. My heart is humble and thankful to Him. 
Last week we found out that our agency has given out 13 referrals this month! One of which was an infant boy to the #19 family!! We could literally get "the call" any day. Excited doesn't begin to describe it.
Enter set back. Since we moved pretty quickly to Missouri we have been renting a house for the past 8 months. We close on our new house Aug. 22. Our agency advised us to wait and update our home study and USCIS paper work once we were in our permanent residence to save us time, money, and hassle. Once we moved 9 spots to number 22 I contacted them and we decided to do a quick amendment to our home study so that just in case it got to us that we could receive the referral. Upon finding an agency here I learned that by Missouri standards our home study was expired and they cannot amend it. KY home studies are good for 18 months, but not in good ole Missouri. What this means is that we are in a dead sprint to do a full update. This includes fingerprinting (because our fingerprints obviously expire! Note my sarcasm) background checks for 4 states, medical forms, employment verifications, home visit, and a lovely $800. Praise The Lord that we found a really great case worker who is very accommodating and trying to get done as fast as possible. After our update is done we file new immigration paperwork and once that gets approved we are good to go. Immigration approved can range from 3 weeks to 90 days so please pray all of our paperwork gets approved at record speed and we get to see our already beloved son, very soon! 
Our agency had no idea that things would move so quickly so this is just one of those things that stinks but The Lord can resolve. When I first found out we had to do a full update I was beside myself. To think that after all this time waiting and praying and hoping we may get skipped on the wait list because of paper work just killed me. I cried for a few days. But, true to who He is The Lord brought me peace through his word, encouraging friends, and prayer. He has ALWAYS taken care of me and he has always known we were going to experience set backs on the road to getting our son, the one He picked for us from the beginning. He is so good and I am so NOT.
So that is where we are, one year on the wait list for Grayson. Thank you for following our journey and know the best part is coming soon!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday :)

This past week has been extremely tough (post explaining it coming if I can put it into words) so today this is what we did. Well, we went to church to worship our God who restores, loves, protects, and keeps all his promises. And then this is what we did. All day. Through the storm He is Lord and I have so much to be thankful for!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Magic House fun

One of the best investments we've made since moving to St. Louis is our magic house pass!! The girls love it, they are stimulated, learn something new every time, and are wore out by the time we leave. Since the temps are in the mid 90's all week it is the perfect outing to stay out of the heat! We love the Magic House!  If you want to come and visit us we can get you in for free, (hint, hint!) :)