Friday, July 22, 2011

so quiet....

I know.  We have been quiet around here lately!  Thank you for all the sweet emails, facebook messages, and thoughts and prayers for us after our adoption loss. 

Someday I hope to write more about losses in adoption.  We have now experienced three failed adoptions over the last 5 years -- each of them unique.  Failed adoptions are so often feared in the adoption community. 

For now, I want to simply reassure our friends and family that although I haven't been blogging, we really are doing fine.  We're just enjoying some quiet time and the flexibility of summer schedules. 

When we suddenly matched with this expectant mama, life went on hold as we helped her relocate, get set up with our agency, etc.  Now that the adoption is off, and we are finding closure and moving on, life feels normal again.  I like that. :)

I have half a dozen posts floating around in my head, and when I get a spare minute, I might get to post one or two.  Maybe. 

For now, I'll let you know that we are far from giving up on adopting again.  We have enjoyed a break from it all, but now we're gearing up to apply for a couple adoption grants & an interest-free adoption loan.  Then we'll start Parents' Nights Out fundraisers again, keep making whipped body butters, and do our homestudy extension, which is due in September.

We still hope that God will bring another precious baby our way, but in the meantime we're enjoying all that life keeps us busy with for now.  And trust me, that is plenty! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

and so we wait....


Yesterday morning, as I braided my niece's curls into braids with beads she loves to click-clack, I prayed for the baby girl we would soon add to our family.

Khiana, age 2

Hours later, we received news that our adoption was falling apart. 

Same as before, we won't be sharing much here.  It is a private matter, and we want to respect the privacy of all who are involved. 

Several people asked, when we announced that we were officially matched, if this was the expectant mom we mentioned briefly in this post.  Yes, it is.  All that we will share here is that this was an unusual situation.  This expectant mom knows us -- in real life and through our blog.  We respect her right to do what she feels is best for her.  And we ask for prayers for all of us as we work through some grief about things not working out as planned.

A few thoughts about all of this....

Do we regret announcing our match? 
No, not really.  It is hard when things turn out this way.  But this is is the road we are walking.  We want to live life authentically, even when it is hard.  We are blessed with amazing friends and family who understand the ups and downs of adoption.  They know that in the end, when God brings a baby home through adoption, he or she will be worth the wait. :)

What now?
We grieve and finish letting go.  We relax and take care of each other.  We talk about what we could have handled differently.  We help our children express their disappointment and reassure them that although we thought this would be our baby, she was not our baby yet, and sometimes plans change.

What is the next step?
We're not sure yet, to be honest.  We don't know if God is truly going to grow our family again, or if He just wanted us to walk this road again so we'd be ready when this particular situation arose.  But through this, God is growing our ability to leave that in His hands and not have to have every detail of our lives planned out.  (If you know me, that is HARD! :)

What about fundraising?
Since we don't know what God has in store for us, we will slow down the fundraising until we feel like we have more direction.  Some of you will be relieved to know that I plan to make the whipped body/hair butter indefinitely.  (I know this because you email me and tell me to please, please, not ever stop! ;)  For now, I will keep designating all profits for our adoption fund.  We will start up the Parents' Nights Out and other fun stuff again once we know if God would have us continue to save for another adoption.

Thank you! 
For your loving prayers and support as we excitedly prepared for this little one.  You blessed us so much!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

2nd Parents' Night Out


We had another fun and successful night! 
Four hours flies by when you're caring for 16 kiddos. :) 

Our first PNO adoption fundraiser was great, and afterward my mind was swirling with ideas on how to make it even better!  So this time, in addition to everything I did before, I added in the following:

I asked the parents help us instruct the kids on a few guidelines for the night.

I posted signs on the back door reminding everyone to wear shoes outside.

And then take them off again when they head back in.
(It bugs me the feet are all so fair, so I'll be taking my own pics for next time! ;)

Everyone brought swimsuits, towels, and their own labeled water bottle.

Once everyone had arrived, Mr. Joe made nametags for them out of blue painter's tape.

All the plates were labeled with the kiddos' names (blue tape again).  I also had all the food prepped in advance so it was easy for Erin and I to serve dinner.

All of these changes helped the evening go relatively much as is possible with so many kiddos! :)

Here is a little of what we did:
We played with the food toys.

We entertained the baby bunnies.

We got wet!

I don't have any great pics from the last hour or so, but after everyone was in their pjs, Mr. Joe played his guitar so we could sing and dance.  There were fun & crazy songs, then quieter worship songs to help everyone wind down.  Then we dimmed the lights and watched a movie until pick-up time.  The kids were hungry again, so I was busy serving more bananas, grapes, & carrots.

Parents' notes regarding their kiddos:
Loves his cuddles.
Cute little escape artist.
Life of the Party
mother hen
Dramatic Leader
Sweet and Helpful
Friend of the little ones.
A little sensitive.
Loves to be held.
Button Pusher
Art/Drama Queen
Tends to run away.
Will want to take home a bunny.

Kids' ages: 13 mos., 15 mos., 17 mos.,
2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 8, 8

The tireless volunteers:
Erin, Anna-Lise, Joe & Jenny, me & Andy

Our next Parents' Night Out adoption fundraiser will be Friday, July 22, from 5 - 9pm.  If you're interested bringing your children, or volunteering as a caregiver, please let me know ASAP. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just doing our part...


Okay, who are we kidding. 

We may compost, recycle, carpool, use cloth diapers, and have rabbits in the back that take the place of a lawn mower.

But we aren't quite that environmental.

It's just been one of those months.

You know....

That month when the water heater bursts a pipe, the car needs repaired, one AC unit needs expensive work done, then the other AC unit goes kapoot and needs replaced.  Oh, and did I mention the water softener also died?  Yeesh!*

I've heard of many a Christian family that faced excessive hardship before adopting -- just before taking a leap of faith and committing to another precious child.

Destany said it well a few days ago.

"Mom?  I don't think Satan wants us to trust God right now.  He is attacking us and trying to make us discouraged!"

Amen, sweet girl. 

But our God is stronger, more powerful. 

He is faithful.

As always, prayers for provision and protection appreciated.

2 hot & sweaty kiddos

*Note: this is why our adoption fund is separate from our everyday budget! :)
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