Yearning

It’s funny to me how you can miss someone so much that you haven’t even met yet.

In these days leading up to little brother’s birth, I find myself yearning for ALL of my babies to be home. Not just little brother growing within, but also little sister from afar. It’s somewhat strange to be preparing my heart to bring both of them home, but at separate times. While I know the date, give or take, that little brother will arrive, we have no idea how long our Ethiopian adoption will take. At the same time that all of these unknowns are swirling around in my head, I know God has already written the date on His giant master calendar and my job is to wait and prepare my heart.

A Flower for My MommyPhoto Credit: bitzcelt via Flickr

Maybe it was all of the adoption questions we answered while on vacation or the pregnancy hormones, but I’m yearning for her even more these days. I’ve dreamed of her–never seeing her face, only her little brown hand in mine. Just the other night I was overcome with emotion at the dinner table as I glanced at our empty chairs, knowing they will one day be filled.

No, we don’t have a referral yet. We don’t have a picture to stare at. Not a name or a birthday to add to the calendar…but she’s ours. We’re already connected. God has already written her name on our family tree and on our hearts.

But I’m only at the beginning of all of this yearning…more is sure to come.

Jonah talks about her often, too. He asks questions about Ethiopia and wonders what sister might be doing at any given moment. We look at the globe and the distance that separates us for the time being. He prays for her every single night without prompting. He draws pictures of our family including “our girl,” as he calls her. He loves her so much already.

And I wonder…Will she every really know just how much we yearned for her and the very hope of her presence in our lives?

Adoption FAQ #5: Boy or Girl?

We really struggled with this decision. I mean REALLY struggled.

We originally said we were open to either gender. How could we choose? It felt like if we were to pick a gender, we were taking control of things instead of letting God work…and as we’ve already established, God is in charge of building this family regardless of our input.

Then we found out that I was pregnant with a little boy…and we started to revisit the gender decision.

Can I just be real for a moment? In some ways, a little boy would be “easier”. We’ve already got all the boy clothes we could ever need for hand-me-downs. We’ve got all the boy toys. And for very lazy reasons, I could buzz his Ethiopian hair with minimal effort or know-how on my part. But let’s face it, those are all superficial reasons to pick a boy.

And since I’m still being real…I have a strong desire to dress someone in pink, ruffles, and hairbows at some point in my life.

Through our interactions with The Mercy House, we started thinking about what life is like for a girl in a third world country. It isn’t pretty. The facts are downright depressing and make me ask God hard questions in the middle of the night. Rape. Prostitution for food. Back-alley Abortions. Yuck. Yuck. Sigh…

I knew what we had to choose.

All hair care tips welcome for African girl hair. :)

Sunday Morning (Shaun Groves Style)

My friend, Shaun Groves, has a new CD coming out in August. He’s just released links to preview the CD on his blog. It is quality music from a quality guy who loves Jesus, Compassion International, and Adoption…three of my favorite things. (Shaun and his wife, Becky, are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, too!)

Listen for yourself…

Third World Symphony by shaungroves

You can go ahead and pre-order the CD for $10 at shaungroves.com/store

So tell me, which song do you like best?

Homestudy…Check!

We had our Homestudy visit today. It went well. During the visit, our caseworker wanted to talk to Jonah and ask some questions about his thoughts on the adoption…she got quite an earful! We told him not to be shy when she came and he didn’t seem to hold back. In true little boy fashion, he wanted to show her every toy he owned…even opening the closets that she didn’t ask to see into. Thankfully, I have nothing to hide :)

Hopefully the paperwork will be ready by the end of the month and we can proceed with the next step–Fingerprinting and Preparing our Dossier to Ethiopia. We will also begin fundraising. We’re still exploring fundraising options and asking the Lord to reveal how He wants to fund His calling for our family. Several of the matching grants we are considering require a copy of your homestudy for the application process or else we’d have already started!

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers! We felt them!

Homestudy…Check! Next stop…Fingerprinting!

Random Thoughts on a Summer Day…

Let’s see just how random I can be today…

~I posted at The MOB Society today On Protecting Family Time and Priorities. I went out on a limb and posted about sports & priorities. I know it can be a polarizing issue in some circles, but I’m hoping people see past that and search for Truth today. I’d love for you to join in the conversation that has already been booming over there! Apparently, I stirred the pot a little…I’ve gotten tons of comments!

Jonah kicking soccer ball

~I’m 27 weeks AND I’m off the Zofran pump! Let’s all do some cartwheels and a virtual high-five! I’m SO excited! Now, I can actually think about having a baby instead of hugging the toilet.

Zofran Pump

~Since I’m finally feeling good enough to deep clean my house, we’re scheduled to have our home inspection part of our Adoption Homestudy completed. I got sick right before we got to this important step and we’ve been temporarily “paused” until I felt better. I’ve hated having this extra waiting time added to our total time, but I know that God is aligning us with our child…and really, He can speed up the other parts of the process if He wants to get us to where we need to be at the right time for the right child.

~Our Homestudy visit is scheduled for the morning of June 14th. I’m cleaning like a madwoman (with plenty of breaks since I tire easily). I’ve come to realize I have WAY too much junk lingering around this house. The donation box is overflowing! Does this count as nesting?

~I went to my regular physician today for some adoption paperwork. It’s the first time he’s heard about our adoption and pregnancy. He didn’t quite understand why we would continue. I thought about sending him the link to my Adoption FAQ #4 post. He filled my paperwork out, but you could tell he thought I was a weirdo. Oh well, I’m getting used to that reaction.

~I get to see my Actress-wanna-be sister tomorrow! Aunt Rachel is visiting from Hollywood! We haven’t seen her since last summer.

http://happybrownhouse.com

~My hydrangeas are in full bloom! I thought they’d be blue like the ones in my granny-in-law’s yard that they came from…but they’re pink. (Kinda like when I thought for sure the ultrasound would show a girl, but it was a boy.) I’ll be adding something to the soil to turn them blue because the blue hydrangeas are my favorite, but these have been making me smile and have brightened my table.

~Tomorrow starts 21 Days of Prayer for Our Sons. Not sure what I’m talking about? Check it out! You can even join in on Facebook! It’s gonna be awesome. There are over 1,000 moms and dads signed up to pray!

I could go on and on, but I think that’s enough randomness for today….

I’ll Never Forget…

I know the pain of fertility struggles. While we had no trouble becoming pregnant the first time, the second didn’t come easily. It took almost three years. While that may be a small amount to some who have tried for years longer, the pain is no different. I hope I never forget what it feels like to ache with love for a child you don’t have. Recently, a young lady I love dearly saw my growing belly and tears formed in her eyes. I knew exactly what it was that caused her pain. It’s sad that something so joyous as a baby bump, can also cause pain to someone struggling with fertility. I hope I never forget what it feels like to see someone else’s growing family and yearn for your own…

HOUSE FINCH NEST AND EGGSphoto credit: Cariboub via flickr

I’ll never forget the happy squeals from huddled ladies at church. I’ll never forget walking through the obstacle course of babies to drop Jonah off at his Sunday School room. To a woman struggling with fertility, Sunday morning is anything but fun in a baby-booming church. And then there’s the well-meaning people who ask when you’re planning to have another baby…because everyone else in your age bracket has two children, but you. Do you dare tell them how long you’ve been taking medicines to help regulate your body and the uncomfortable doctor visits where they ask the most personal questions? You don’t. You force a smile and say, “We’ll see…” while trying not to burst into the ugly cry.

I’ll never forget being pulled aside by friends who wanted to break the news gently that they were expecting. And feeling genuinely happy for them, but secretly going home to cry with Ray and mourn my own barren state. Because no matter how happy you are for a friend you love, you can’t help but feel loss at what you don’t have. But I am thankful. They loved me and knew me well enough to care about how I heard the news. They knew that I would rather hear it from them gently, than hear it through the grapevine in public and feel “put on the spot”.

I’ll never forget taking pregnancy tests filled with hope…only to start my period the next day. It was then that I cursed the medicine that didn’t work…again.

Feather Your Nest Necklacephoto credit: ERiaDesigns via Etsy

I’ll never forget reading Hannah’s story over and over again. Praying the same prayers that she prayed so long ago. Finding hope that God opened her womb and gave her a son, but knowing that He is God and doesn’t have to do the same forĀ me. Mourning over hope deferred, and praying for a desire to be fulfilled. I’ll never forget praying that God would open my womb and my heart to whatever He had planned for me…but deep down hoping it was my womb, instead of my heart. I held up that prayer with a closed fist, instead of open hands of praise.

I’ll never forget the look of helplessness in Ray’s eyes. It seemed to be the one thing that he couldn’t fix. So many times he held me as I cried myself to sleep. When insensitive comments from others brought me to my knees, all he could do was pray and hold me.

I’ll never forget the guilt over wanting more. It’s not that I wasn’t thankful for Jonah…quite the opposite. I think it made it harder because I know the joy a baby can bring…not just all the “what if” thoughts, but the “remember when” thoughts. Deep down I knew that our family wasn’t complete yet. There was still more love to go around and a general consensus with all of us that someone was missing. Jonah began asking for babies. We soon included him in praying for God to send us a baby. He joined us in prayer…and look at us now–adopting AND pregnant!

I’ll never forget the day we decided to stop trying. I mourned deeply. There were lots of ugly cries. I knew where we were headed, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t done. It wasn’t what I had “planned” or envisioned. I had to grieve over this before I was ready to move on to adoption. While we have always wanted to adopt, I had to deal with these feelings infertility brought up and put them to rest. It was only when I accepted that I might never conceive again and was seriously ok with it, that I felt I could move on. It was only when I could accept what God might have for me without pregnancy that I was ready. Because I believe God is a good God and has my best interest in mind, I had to learn to accept that He had a plan…and it might not involve pregnancy. It was only when I could say, “Lord, I will praise you baby or not” that I could move on. I know too many people who have gotten stuck there, but I knew I had to move past it.

Now I know this, God used this time to bring me to an awareness of the struggles of women facing infertility. While it wasn’t a fun lesson to learn, it was only through this time that I have a testimony of God’s faithfulness to share with my sweet friend praying Hannah’s prayers. Ray and I firmly believe it was this time of yearning, that brought us to the point of saying YES with everything within us when God called us to adopt. And about this pregnancy…I’m still in shock. I laugh and feel somewhat silly when I tell people we run into that haven’t heard the news yet. With every baby kick, I say a prayer of thanks.

One thing I know for sure, I’ll never forget.

Sunday Morning