It's about your presence, not the presents. (No, really)

Monday, October 16, 2017 No comments
So so so many people have asked what we need, and what they can do to help us get ready for the boys. The boys have spent the past almost 3 years with a foster family that absolutely love and adore them. When they join our family they'll be coming with all kinds of clothes and books and toys. We did do a registry at Toys R Us (you can find it here) but a big piece of that was about not wanting to miss out on that experience. Plus, it was a lot of fun roaming through the store trying to decide what the boys would like and picturing them playing with certain things in our home.

We do have a list of things we need though. (And some things that we would just like to have too.)

This feels really awkward to write, and I really mean it when I say that we don't expect anyone to buy any of these items for us! And if you do choose to get us or the boys something, please know that we will appreciate it whether it comes from one of our lists or it's something you picked out with us in mind. (In fact, there are probably a lot of things we didn't even think to put on the list that some of you parents might think will really come in handy for us!)


PS: If you're looking for other ways to help, we're a little bit worried that Daisy is going to be feeling neglected. Especially on the weekends when we're in Yarmouth, but after the boys come home too. Any time you feel like some company on a walk, feel free to come borrow a beagle. Daisy loves to go on adventures!

PPS: Thank you to special friends for sharing their adoption wish list for us to base ours off. :-)

Wow.

Thursday, September 28, 2017 No comments
Dear friends & family,

We have been totally and completely blown away by the love we've received over the last month or so. I'm pretty sure that simply saying "thank you" will never be enough. Offers to help prepare the house, and help baby sit when the time comes have been coming in from every direction. It's truly amazing, and we both feel incredibly blessed.

I started writing this post on Tuesday evening and I was explaining that we were in another weird waiting period, waiting for a transition schedule from the social workers. Well, the email came yesterday and we now have a tentative schedule. If everything unfolds roughly as scheduled, adoption day will be November 17th.

Seven weeks. Seven weeks from today.

One moment seven weeks feels like an eternity, then the next it feels like no time at all.

We have so much left to do around the house, and very little time to do it. Over the next seven weeks almost all of our weekends and days off will be spent with our kids. ("Our kids," it still feels so strange!) We've had lots of people volunteer to help, but most of what needs to be done is cleaning/organizing/purging the house to get ready. Bedrooms are painted, and the flooring is done in one of them. This weekend we're building bedroom furniture and starting to put two bedrooms together. Then after that we finish the playroom and declutter/clean the rest of the house from top to bottom. It feels like so much, but I know it will all come together.

I feel like I'm rambling, there really aren't words to capture how we're feeling. We are still overwhelmed, and terrified, and excited, but underneath it all is this feeling of... rightness. I think that's the best way to describe it.

This next chapter of our lives is going to be filled with challenges. Challenges of parenthood. Challenges of raising children who've experienced trauma. Almost everything we know is changing. But it still feels right and that's the feeling we want to hold on to.

Thank you again for all the love. Consider this a hug for everyone who's "liked" one of our posts on Facebook, or sent a text or a Snapchat, We appreciate it more than you'll ever know.

PS: The gorgeous photos at the top of this post were done by Karlene Stiles Photography. Karlene is a former employee of mine who is an incredibly talented photographer. I can't recommend her highly enough!




Our Rollercoaster

Friday, August 18, 2017 No comments

I really don't even know where to start.

I was talking with a friend who's also adopting, and she was listing all the emotions she was feeling. Excited, hopeful, scared, anxious, nervous... plus a few that we weren't sure what to call. We decided that there should be a word that means all of those things. Because that's how we're feeling.

It's been almost two months since we got the call that we've been matched.

There is still nothing official. Which means, friends and family, even if you want to, don't start buying anything. ;-) (Not that's stopped us...) We've had two meetings so far, one with the social workers involved with the children, and one with the foster parents who are currently caring for/loving the children.

Both of the meetings were scary and overwhelming.

But they were also full of hope.

The next step is meeting with some of the other folks outside the system who know the kids. Day care staff, occupational therapists...

And while nothing is official yet, it's feeling very real all of the sudden.

I'm going to be a mom.

My whole life is going to change.

I won't be leaving the house every morning to go to work.

I'll have mountains of laundry.

To two small humans I'll be Mommy, and Jonathan will be Daddy.

This journey has not been what we expected.

And we know that what's coming isn't going to be easy. Parenthood is never easy, but we are going to have some unique challenges. (Like every family does.)

I'm sitting on the couch, listening to Daisy snore, realizing that my days are going to change drastically in the coming months.

Packing school lunches, watching Tree House TV, playing with dinkies, appointments, visits from social workers... This is going to be my new life.

The new chapter. A whole new book.

I'm sad to see the end of this story. I love the life that Jonathan and I have built together. I love us. But I am so excited to start this new story. I'm ready to see the new us.

Good thing we love roller coasters! :-)

Matched.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1 comment
We got the call today that we've been matched.

MATCHED. 

Words we've been waiting 8 months to hear, but words we were expecting to have to wait longer for. Much longer. A match doesn't necessarily always lead to an adoption, but an adoption can't happen without a match. Our home study has been chosen - we've been chosen - for a sibling group of two. (Eventually I'll be able to give a little more info, but for now all I'm comfortable saying is that it's a sibling group of two. Our families and close friends know a little bit more.)

I am full of so many emotions right now, some of them I can't even name. (And that's really saying something, because expressing myself is not something I normally struggle with!)

Mixed in with all the excitement and joy there's one underlying emotion: terror.

I am terrified.

I don't know how to be a mom.

What do we do now?
Am I self-less enough for this?
How are Daisy and Sydney going to react?
How do we register our child for school?
What do we buy?
What do little kids like?
What do they eat?
What will our days look like?
How do we help them keep their culture when they've never been exposed to it?
How do we help them deal with the grief of leaving foster parents they love and adore?
(And how do we keep from being over-come with jealousy over their bond with their foster family?)
How do we speak positively about their first family knowing what we know?
Who am I if I'm not working?
Am I a terrible mother if I go back to work?
Will they call us Mom and Dad?

What if they don't like us?

I am terrified.

But I am ready to see where the next part of our journey leads us.






Mother's Day

Sunday, May 14, 2017 No comments

I would be lying if I didn't say that Mother's Day is a struggle for me. And I know I'm not the only one struggling today. There are mothers who've lost children, and children who've lost their mothers. And there are the woman like me, who are waiting. Some days patiently, and some days impatiently. 

In my life plan, I would have been a mother by now. Since we began our adoption journey the fact that it's not about my plan has become more and more evident. But on days like today, knowing that there's a plan can only do so much. Watching the mothers get their flowers at church and seeing all the posts on Facebook are like tiny little pin pricks in my heart. One of the little girls at church today turned to me after service and said, "aren't you a mother?" Pretty simple question, but boy did it pierce.

I want to be a mother. I want tiny arms around my neck, and I want to kiss scraped knees. I want to clean up puke and I want to go to work on only 2 hours of sleep because someone had a nightmare or just couldn't sleep.

This isn't a pity party - my life isn't on hold because we're waiting for our children. My marriage is stronger, I get to spoil my nephew without my own children getting jealous. I have amazing people in my life, and I don't feel "incomplete." 


But I do think we need to encourage conversation. I'm not the only one who struggled with infertility. Who spent years wondering what was wrong with me. So if you're struggling, you're not alone. There's a plan for you too. 

Waiting & Christmas

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 No comments


I'm currently typing this post on the adorable new laptop that Jonathan bought me for Christmas. We did a little bit of splurging this Christmas, I think because in our hearts we're hoping that this is the last Christmas that it's just the two of us. That next Christmas we're busy with little ones and spoiling them instead of each other. Every Christmas tradition this year (like baking cookies at Jonathan's parents') prompted discussions of what it may be like "next year" and Jonathan and I talked several times about how different Christmas will look when we have our own kids.

We weren't the only ones thinking about our kids when we were doing our Christmas shopping this year. We got some incredibly thoughtful gifts from our family and friends as well. One of the girls at work nearly brought me to tears on Christmas Eve when she presented me with a scrapbook to fill with our journey. Her mother had kept a journal for her, and it was something that meant the world to her, so she wanted us to do the same for our future children. Jonathan and I each bought each other a book, and he also got me a beautiful necklace. David and Tracey bought us a wall hanging and a copy of "God Found Us You." My childhood friend Lauren sent us a devotion/journal book that I'm really looking forward to getting in to. And even Joseph's girlfriend (who we've never met!) sent us a sweet decoration.



When we're being honest with ourselves we know that we're probably going to have at least one more Christmas that's just the two of us, possibly more than one. We've only been approved a little over two months and we know how long the wait can be. This Christmas was the first one after our approval though, and we worked very hard to get here. I don't know how different next Christmas will look but I'm glad this Christmas was special.



Rejection.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 1 comment
We have now officially been waiting parents for a little over a month. The past month has completely flown by! (I think November always flies as an adult though, because December means Christmas and Christmas means a ton of extra things to get done.) Our home study has been put forward twice now, and both times we were not selected. If I'm being completely honest we didn't expect to get selected. We were told upfront that part of the selection process includes how long you've been waiting, and we know that there are families who've been waiting for years. It definitely lessened the blow, but it still wasn't easy to read the emails.

Right now I'm still able to convince myself that we weren't selected because of how recently we were approved. Once a couple months pass though I worry a little about how I'm going to react. Will I blame myself? Wonder why whoever is reading the report doesn't think I would be a good mother? Will Jonathan blame me? Will I blame him?

Are we strong enough to withstand those doubts? YES.

Is it going to be hard? Is it going to test us? I'm sure it is. But our kids are out there. Maybe they're already in foster care, maybe they haven't even been born yet. But I truly believe that there is a reason we felt that adoption was the path for us. We are meant to be here, meant to be on this journey. Our home study is going forward again, maybe these are our children. But if they're not, that's okay, because this is our journey. And someday we're going to be parents.

xo.