Before the years are gone and I've lost my nerve...

'Cause this is what I've waited for..

Monday, April 30, 2007

We have completed our end of the adoption paperwork! We are just waiting to get our copy of the home study, which should be any day now. I talked with the birthmom on Friday and she is at 2cm! So it could, quite literally, be any day now!

I have started packing the infamous bag and believe I have everything I need, for now. Thank goodness we will never be too far away from Target! Our mulitcultural training class went better than expected, so once more I got myself worked up over nothing. A sensitivity-training comment for all those who will get into conversations with people wanting a family: Please do not ever say, "why don't you just adopt?" There is nothing "just" about it. To be perfectly honest, this is not a fun process and I cannot wait until the beaurocracy is over and I get to be mom (I realized I was about to put "just" before the word mom...ha, I caught myself!).

I am so excited, though, despite my brutal honesty! We will post news once we get the call and then lots of pictures to follow!

Monday, April 23, 2007


Yesterday was Compassion Sunday at church. I was not prepared, to say the least, and spent most of the service with my head down; tears and mucus (ok, snot) running down my face. Of course we were sitting in the front row, so there was no discreet exit happening for me. Why didn't I grab a donut before the service? At least then I would have had a napkin or something... But God was at work in my heart. Big time.

As part of the focus for Compassion Sunday, a majority of the service was devoted to adoption. We had heard that another couple from church had an open adoption, but hadn't yet talked with them. They gave their testimony and as Dar was talking I sat stunned in my seat. Their story is almost identical to ours! But they had to do it all in 3 weeks! And as Dar was retelling the details of the time in the hospital, the goodbyes, and the actual placing of the child in their arms she made a comment about the birth mother that hit me hard. She said, .."how could we turn her away? She was giving us her newborn son!" I realized then that God was once again changing our view of this whole scenario. I had spent the past couple of weeks getting defensive, overprotective, and jealous of our birth mother! Apparantly I was missing the point here. God's plan goes way far beyond just giving me a child- he has something in mind for the birth mom too. But if I'm already closing myself off to her, then how will she be reached? So my challenge continues and we are anxious to talk more with Fred and Dar about their experience. How cool that we have people so close that have gone before us in this! God is good.

Not only did we walk alway incredibly challenged, but networked with two other couples from church that have either adopted, or are in the midst of adopting.

On Saturday we will be attending a parenting seminar down in the cities at the adoption agency. Because Eva is 25% Native American, the agency is requiring that we attend. It is titled, Multicultural Parenting in a Racist Society, and will be interesting. I'll leave it at that.

We are still waiting to hear whether or not the birth mom has accepted our openness agreement, so are anxious to get that finally sorted out. Other than that, we will get a copy of the home study and wait for the call to go to the hospital. And somehow in this whole grand scheme I'm supposed to be preparing myself for motherhood. The closest I've come is putting a few items into the diaper bag, slowly getting that packed so it's ready when we get the call. But I don't even know exactly what to put in there!

This whole process is incredible, surreal, and just downright weird.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My kind of Labor....

I heard from the social worker today and ICWA does not apply to our situation! Praise the Lord! ICWA stands for Indian Child Welfare Act, and because the baby is 25% Ojibwe, there was a possibility that the Leech Lake Band could take jurisdiction over this adoption, could require things of us in raising this child, but that the baby could also receive benefits from them (which wouldn't have been all that bad..). I felt like if anyone else was going to try to step in and tell us how we were going to raise this child I would absolutely scream. But once again, God is gracious. I must cling to that.

I don't know how many times over the past week and a half I have said to Lee, "I don't ever want to do this again." But I wonder if it's one of those things you just say in the middle of stressful muck. Will I look at this baby girl and then feel like this has all been worth it? Probably, but right now I'm really tired of playing telephone with the social workers. We've been working it seems continuously on a mutually acceptable openness agreement, defining all of the contact that we will have with the birth mother. What's in the best interest of the child mingles with our best interests and sometimes it's hard to see clearly what we should do. Birth mom wants to make it a legally binding contract, and Lee and I are intentionally trying to work past the feelings of mistrust. If we say we are going to do something, then we are going to do it, but then I remember that birth mom doesn't really know us. Just because she chose us doesn't automatically instill her with deep abiding trust that we will see her when we say we will.

I feel like we have been through several weeks of labor, and I'm praying that these last few weeks before the baby is born will be uneventful for us. I just want to enjoy the anticipation of it, not be flooded with anxiety. I have been working more and more on the room- crib skirt, window treatments, and it is slowly beginning to look like someone might actually live in there soon! In just a few short weeks a child will actually be sleeping in the bassinet and I have not fully prepared myself for that. One of my dearest friends just had her baby on Tuesday and as proud papa was telling me all of the details I thought - we're going to be sharing details like that very soon! How strange that my brain has not yet absorbed everything yet, but I hear from many mothers that "it" will come. So as we wait for the true labor pains to begin we will try to focus on the joy that awaits us!

Friday, April 6, 2007

5 weeks and counting

4/6/07: Today was spent getting dirty. Dirty like as in, 'I haven't seen this corner of the basement in six months let alone clean it.' We loaded up all the old carpet we ripped off the floor, as well as the rest of the remains from our home improvement projects over the past two years and headed for the dump. The gentlemen standing guard at the entrance proved to be very generous today and only charged us for half a load. I don't know why that was so cool to me, but right now any extra we can save the better.

We have two days until our social worker comes for the home visit and I have a running tally in my head of all of the things I want done before she gets here. And once again I have to remind myself that just because there is dirt on the wall from the dogs does not mean that our house will be labeled an unsafe environment. It's the little things under my control that are stressing me out. So we will run full speed ahead tomorrow to get the bathroom done, the edging paint work done, the visit to the grocery store, the library, Goodwill... Really, does any of that need to get done tomorrow? Not necessarily, but I will feel a whole heck of a lot better so we are going to do it.

This is a before shot of the baby's room. (This picture was taken when we went through the house before we bought it.) The previous owners had conveniently placed that nice big rug over the ugliest part of the floor, so when we went to strip the paint off the woodwork, it wasn't the biggest shock that some of the paint stripper got on the floor. So we ended up stripping that too.


Our social worker left a few hours ago after a brief visit to the house. I think she was here maybe an hour... Once again I have been reminded of my tendency toward unnecessary anxiety. But what is necessary anxiety I ask myself?

I was completely stressed out last night and was frantically organizing our closet, to which Lee inquired, "Do you really think that's necessary?" I was in no mood to have my discretion questioned, so I responded, "Who knows where she's gonna look!!!" Darn it all if my clothes weren't going to fit inside those drawers..... So all of the outlet plugs, safety latches and scrubbing dark musty corners of the basement proved only to be physical stress relievers as the social worker didn't notice any of it. But hey, my house is clean.

It is now incredibly relieving to have one more hurdle jumped of this very interesting journey. And again I'm reminded that there is nothing about this that God did not forsee, that He did not know we were capable of enduring, if not attaining victoriously! So I will follow through with what I have learned: I will trust, I will wait patiently, I will continually give thanks because none of this would be if God had not entrusted us with this process and ultimately an amazing baby girl that I just can't wait to hold.
(Baby's room with floor and woodwork refinished)
We are now putting the finishing touches on the baby's room and will post those pics soon.......

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Serenity Now!

Today we are feeling a bit better than how things were going for us last week. The agency we are using is great, but sometimes it's best to eliminate the middle man from communicating between us and just talk to one another. We were a bit surprised with some of the ideas the birth mother had about how this whole openness thing was going to go, and had to take a few days to gather ourselves and attempt to think clearly. I remember a few hairy moments when thoughts like, "OK, God. I didn't agree to this whole thing expecting to have to share. This is not what I thought we had signed up for...." But then, this whole event has been completely His doing- so who am I to try to navigate the details, really?

So my biggest challenge? Receiving blessings, grabbing on to them with gratitude, but not clinging to them. What does that look like? Heck if I know right now, but I will try my best. And in the meantime we have to look deeper into this deal and pray, pray, pray for divine wisdom. Can anyone really decipher God's plan in the making? Sure, hindsight brings incredible perspective. But I don't have hindsight now and my only option is to pray, trust and step out. I remember in college coming across the verse in Joshua where God promises him that He will give Joshua every place where he will set his foot, and I picture this faith walk across a dark, bottomless chasm. As I walk suddenly these floating rocks just appear under my feet. (A few too many sci-fi movies, perhaps?) But even after one step appears I still find myself holding my breath until the next one, then the next one, and then finally one brings me to a steady place. Relief finally comes, but would I be prepared to turn around and walk it again? So another challenge is to learn, truly learn; not just 'whew! Made it through that one!', but really prepared to walk it again.

So as we process through how this open adoption is going to work out, we are attempting to look beyond this as just an answer to our prayers. Is God also planning to use this blessing as a way to reach out to the birth mom? What room in our hearts (beyond our obvious gratitude), can we make for her so that God can be revealed to her? So the dichotomy of my heart continues, but I know that obedience is my ultimate desire. We want to do what God has planned, knowing that if we prove trustworthy in this, He will be able to give more and more. And I remember another of my cries to God being, "Break off a slice for me!!!" So here I am, trying to digest this incredible portion. If only my eyes could me the size of my stomach.......