Saturday, August 30, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAMI!!!

Dear Sweet Sami,

It's your birthday today!  What an incredible event to celebrate!  The very day that you were brought into this world!  The very beginning of God's wonderful plans for your life started this very day fourteen years ago!  WOW!

I would be remiss to fail to recognize the courageous and loving woman who gifted the world by giving you life.  The same woman who has blessed us with her selfless love for you.  For, without her, I would be unable to celebrate you and call you son.

Sweet boy, it has been my joy and great honor to be your mom these past 2+ years….3 years, really, if you count the day I met you and knew that I knew your were our son!  {reflective sigh of peace inserted here}

I had no idea what a blessing God had in store for us by bringing you into our lives!  You continue to bless me and amaze me.  Every. Single. Day.

Your smile continues to light up my life.  Your tender heart makes me grateful for every moment spent with you.  Your positive attitude makes me a better person daily.  Your energy fills me with admiration.  Your love for God overflows from your heart to my life ~ and I am daily blessed.   Your responsibility for your age amazes me.  Your love of laughter and fun brings both joy and a smile to my heart.  Your academic and athletic prowess never cease to amaze me.  And your divine humbleness glorifies God.

You are an incredible boy, sweet son, and are becoming an awesome young man.

May you continue down this promising, exciting and divine path of life.  May you always recognize God's blessings with each and every step.  May you forever remember that your true value lies within the very root of who you are.  Who God created you to be.  Your talents, good looks and great skills are prevalent and wonderful, and we are SO very proud of you!  But we love you beyond such things.

May you always know that amidst these blessings, gifts and talents, we love you to your core.  We love the very soul God gave you.  We love the child you are and the young man you are becoming.  Regardless of your successes.

We love you because you are you.  Because you are our son.

May God continue to use me and dad to encourage, teach and guide you along your way.  May you feel our hands holding yours ~ always.  Both physically and figuratively.  May our efforts to intermittently "let go" as you grow, gift you the confidence and independence that accompanies physical, spiritual and emotional growth.  But regardless the stage in life, may you forever feel our presence.  Our love.  Our belief in you.  Our encouragement and prayers.

That, my son, will go on without ceasing.

May you always know our deep and unconditional love for you, sweet Sami.

SO THRILLED to celebrate YOU today!

SO THANKFUL to call you my son!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET BOY!!!!



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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WE FIRST LAID EYES ON BABY SIS LAST WEEK!

BLESSED.
HARD.
EMOTIONAL.
AMAZING!!!!!!

All at the same time!

We made our family trip to Florida last week, to meet birth mom and dad on Saturday, August 16th.  The importance of this date is not irony, we believe, but divine orchestration.  You see……..our last miscarriage was on this very date a few years back!

Yes!  You heard me right!  We met with birth mom (birth dad ended up not making it)!  A day of huge progress toward becoming a family of five!  On the exact date that we lost our last baby.  Not that one child can ever replace another.  Oh MY no!  No way!  But such a sweetness in how God brought things full circle, if you will……….

Back to the precious gathering.

Boy, was I nervous!  This beautiful opportunity to meet, talk with and share with birth mom seemed different than our previous birth mom meetings, in the sense that care of our boys had already been relinquished.  This time…..birth mom was still CARRYING baby sis, say nothing of relinquishment yet!  This spun a little different sense of nervousness for me at first conception of the meeting.

God gently changed that nervous perspective for me.  Before the gathering even happened.

You see, days leading up to this meeting, God made it repeatedly clear that this sweet gathering wasn't meant to be filled with worry, stress or angst.  Nor was it about what we could get out of the meeting (i.e., answers for baby sis as she ages and inquires).

This blessed meeting was about making it all about God.  Making it about HIS story.  Not baby sis' story, and especially not my story.  This meeting wasn't about me at all.  It was all about allowing GOD's story to unfold.  In His manner and timing.

Our dear adoption consultant, Susan, confirmed what I felt I had been 'hearing.'  She shared with me another adoptive mama's heart after experiencing a failed adoption (birth mom chose to parent after delivery) and months later being matched and finally bringing home their God-ordained child.  This woman shared that she would never regret LOVING BIG.  Both times.

This soooo resonated with what I felt God had been planting in my heart, that I was moved to tears in my conversation with Susan.  It was from this point forward that I kept my eyes focused on God and my heart open.  Unreserved.  Open to allow the flow of this love I was already feeling for baby sis as she grows in another woman's tummy.  Open to love both birth parents.  Open to trust God.  And LOVE BIG, all that comes with this amazing journey!!!

As we spent an afternoon with this incredibly precious, strong, courageous and loving woman, "LOVING BIG" came naturally.  Or should I say SUPERnaturally!  God covered every moment we shared together!

Knowing God's handprints were already ALL OVER this adoption journey, I never should have let the nerves and worry sneak in.  He had us in the very palm of His hand!  ALL of us!!!

As my sweet friend, Allison, said….."God orchestrated this all because He loves each one of you so much!!"

BAM!  She nailed it!

Though bittersweet, adoption is about God loving each and every one involved in the beautiful journey and gifting His blessings upon all.  Baby/child.  Birth parent(s).  Adoptive parents.  Families.

Birth mom received peace in gaining answers to her many heart-felt questions about us, our family, parenting style, etc, and we gained a peace that this woman is real.  She is loving and kind.  And she is genuinely trying her best to choose the right path for her baby.  Even if the choice of a different path for her child does not come easy to her.  

I know no greater selfless love.

And we have been blessed by such a love three times now.  We are so undeserving.

To add to the blessings of this day, we were able to "meet" baby sister via ultrasound!  It was such a miracle to experience a positive and exciting ultrasound that revealed to us the little life we are to be gifted!

I silently cried as I first laid eyes on our baby girl.  This crazy amazing beyond~comprehension gift of adoption.  Straight from God.  Again.  Shaking my head in awe of it all.

We watched baby sister move!  Incredible!  Birth mom is taking such great care of her!  No medications ~ not even for her heart-burn, bless her heart!  Baby Sis was described by the ultrasonographer as having big eyes, big cheeks and lots of hair!  {insert huge mama grin here!}  At 29 weeks she was a healthy 3 pounds ~ right within norms for this timeframe.  The cord had good flow and was in great position (no where near her neck).

This miraculous life is thriving wonderfully well!  And we got to SEE her!  Birth mom is feeling good, with the exception of heart burn and the start of swelling feet.  And me……I was filled to overflowing with love.  For God, for this sweet baby girl, birth mom and dad, the family I already have, and the dream abut a baby girl that continued to simmer even when I felt so completely filled by my boys!

GOD IS INCREDIBLY GOOD!!!!!!!

Emotions.  OH!  The emotions!  I tried to keep it together throughout the day.  Even when both of us mama's hugged an unforgettable heart-felt hug.  A hug that was filled with mutual gratitude, trust, joy, sorrow, bitterness and sweetness……...all wrapped up in LOVE.  A hug I will not forget.

I held it together for my boys.  But let me tell you.  Once they were asleep, the tears flowed from a place deep within.  Too many emotions to even calculate.  Too many tears to even fathom.  Coming from a place I had only recognized two other times before.  Sami and Kaleab's adoption.

God promised me I don't need to worry over Baby Sis.  Nor do I need to worry for birth mom.  He assured me I needn't worry about the outcome of this baby's delivery ~ and who she will go home with.  God loves her.  And He will make certain she goes to the family He created her to be with.  He reminded me that reserving this love I feel for this baby will do no good for her.  This love I feel is good.  It is safe.  It is for our baby girl.  And it is more than okay to let the feelings flow.  It only blesses baby sis.

God knew.  He knew the struggles of these birth parents.  He knew the desires of our hearts to add a baby girl to our precious family.  He knows how this will all go.

And all we are called to do right now is LOVE.

LOVE BIG.

Without Fear. (1 John 4:18)

Love with an unreserved , genuine LOVE for this precious princess growing and getting ready to greet the world.  For this precious life we feel is called to be our daughter.  For the birth parents burdened with decisions so profoundly impacting her life.  Her destiny.  And for the Heavenly Father that orchestrated it all because He loves each one of us so much!!!!

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

IT'S A DATE!!!

There is an added flair of EXCITEMENT running through our home tonight!!!

We will be meeting Birth Mom and Birth Dad in a couple of weeks!!!!

You heard me right!  We will soon be flying to FLORIDA for a face-to-face meeting over lunch…...and wherever else God leads us…..

Our time together will include witnessing an ultrasound of Baby Sis!!!  Jeff and I are THRILLED to have an exciting and positive ultrasound experience!!  Hard for us to imagine actually being able to "see" our sweet Princess!!  We cannot wait to "meet" her!!

GOD IS AMAZING!!!!!

The excitement of this upcoming adventure is intensified for the boys, as we just shared with them the newsflash that we will also be visiting……..DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!



Both boys are pretty giddy with the discussions of Disney, and I don't think either one of them can really grasp all that awaits them!!!  I so LOVE how God is in the details!

Exciting adventure awaits us!  And its just around the corner!  Our excitement is bubbling over!

Please join us in covering our meeting with birth mom (BM) and birth dad (BD):
May each one of us feel God's presence in our time together and thereafter.  May God cover all of us with His peace, strength, love and joy.  May He fill us with His words.  Words that can bring answers, assurance, a peace and calm to the hearts of the birth parents, as well as ours.  May both BM and BD be able to walk away assured that, amidst the bittersweetness of adoption, they can carry divine peace in their hearts, knowing that we will love, cherish and treasure their daughter always and forever.

May this meeting bring us all closer together as we walk further down this incredible journey called adoption.  May God fill these two amazing birth parents...who lovingly and bravely chose life and adoption for this precious baby girl...with an understanding of how Amazed we are by them….how much we Respect them….and how Grateful we are to them for choosing us!

And as always, hoping you will continue to cover Baby Sis in prayer for safe and healthy development as well as a knowledge of how LOVED she is ~ by her Heavenly Father, her birth parents, as well as us, her Forever Family!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

THREE YEARS AGO…...

Three years ago this week……We held our precious baby boy in our arms for the very first time!

He continues to bring amazing and unfathomable love and light into our lives!

Sharing a few snippets of our first day with peanut…..a magical day, indeed!  (July 17, 2011)

 Those last minutes of waiting to meet our son 
were a bit overwhelming in a good way!

 Sweet Nanny bringing him to us.
First time our eyes laid upon him in person!

 It was as if he immediately knew we were His Mommy and Daddy!


 Oh how he LOVED our kisses!
Still does!

 He loved holding my finger and gazing into my eyes
while getting his baba.  Melt.my.mama.heart.

Hi Da-da!
  
Hi Mommy!

 Our cuddle bug!

Thankful every day for God's faithfulness, goodness and steadfast love.  He brought us to peanut and peanut to us.  A match made in heaven!

I had never dreamed life could be so rich.  So full.  So blessed.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Story Behind Getting MATCHED with BABY SIS!!!



WOW!  What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been!  In a GOOD ~ GREAT ~ way!!!

As you know from my last post, we became paper pregnant for BABY SIS June 16th!  And as many of you already know from Facebook……(it's taken me a while to post it here, sooo sorry)…….

WE ARE MATCHED WITH OUR BABY GIRL!!!!

We were officially paper pregnant JUNE 16th and we were matched on JULY 8th!  Baby Sis is expected to be born in Florida the end of October!

When I first learned of the domestic adoption process, I wondered aloud to God many a times, "How in the world will we know when to present our Family Profile?……We don't want to choose our daughter, we want YOU to, God!"  To which He quietly assured me that He had this, and would walk us through the process, leading us directly to our baby girl in the end.

Within DAYS of becoming paper pregnant, we were being presented with a couple of possible situations.  Totally unexpected and a bit overwhelming to us at first. 

Well, God prevailed and profoundly clarified for us with each scenario how each one was not meant for us..….

…..Until, that is, THIS sweet scenario crossed my email inbox!!!……Honestly, I even felt a twitter of excitement just reading the email heading (unlike the other situations that had crossed our path previously)!  :D

Let me back up a bit.  In domestic adoption, we make a Family Profile, which gets presented (upon your request) to the birth mother and/or father, to help the her/them get a feel for who we are as individuals as well as a family.  This book includes things we had written directly to the birth parents, as well as things we shared about us as a family.  We had WONDERFUL help with this project from our incredible adoption consultant, Susan, who is with Christian Adoption Consultants!  She kept looking for the right layout, and tweaked it here and there, until she helped create the one that "fit" us perfectly!  THANK YOU, SUSAN!

Anyway, we felt strongly lead to have our profile presented to this birth mother.  It is INCREDIBLE how God so clearly lead us to THIS particular situation!  Because, we believe, THIS is the baby angel who He has chosen for us!

The lawyer presented all of the family profiles on JULY 3rd, and over the holiday (and my birthday!) weekend, we fervently prayed that God's Will be done.  We prayed for the birth mom to find a peace about the right family for her unborn baby girl.  We hoped that it would be OUR FAMILY of course, but more importantly, we prayed she would be lead to chose THE RIGHT family for this precious angel baby…..whether that was us or not….

We also prayed that the birth mother and father would feel God's love and protection while making such a courageous, brave and loving decision as adoption.  We asked God to cover them in a peace that surpassed their understanding.  We asked Him to guide them to the family He had already chosen for this precious little princess.

And HE DID!

I was hiking Tuesday morning, JULY 8th (my nephew and our doggies' birthday!) when I got the call.   I was feeling a bit flustered with how this domestic adoption process works, and how COMMON it is to receive a number of "not chosen" phone calls before you are officially matched.  I wondered how many "No" calls we would receive before receiving the "Yes!" that would lead us to our baby girl. 

As much as I was trying to give all of this up to our Heavenly Father, I could not shake the deep desire for birth mother to choose US.  I knew we only wanted the baby girl GOD had planned for us from the beginning, but I was struggling with convincing myself I was okay with whatever decision was about to be made.

I couldn't shake the intense feeling that this baby girl was OUR precious daughter.  Yet, I had to lift this whole scenario, with an open palm, up to God.  Trusting that His will and plan is always for our GOOD.  Period.  Always.

The call came in the middle of my hike, and as I saw the number across my cell screen, my heart leaped with excitement as well as hesitation……was I ready to hear the answer?  What if she didn't choose us?

With much excited anticipation, I answered the call, to hear the sweet words, "She chose YOU!"……."I knew she would love you and your family!  She chose you!"

There I stood.  At a perfect resting stop overlooking our city, squealing……with other hikers hiking passed me wondering, I am sure, what news was so good to make me jump for Joy!  I even accidentally cut the lawyer off and had to call her back explaining that in my giddy excitement, I accidentally pressed a button that cut off our conversation.  ;)  The lawyer covered me with her kindness and grace and continued to share how things proceed after a match {I feel I only heard half of what she said in all my overjoyed giddiness!}.

I immediately called Jeff to share the news!  {I knew I couldn't wait until I hiked down the foothills!}  We vowed to keep it quiet from the boys until we could share the joy TOGETHER as a family, and Jeff would be leaving for work immediately upon my return home, and sweet peanut was still asleep.

Finally at noon, we were able to have our family pow-wow where we shared with the boys that we had been matched with BABY SIS!!!!  The smile on Sami's face was radiant and huge!  His eyes just danced as he asked more details about her.  Sweet Kaleab asked, "We get my baby TODAY!?!?"  His little 3 year old mind still grapples with when "my baby" will come home; but his excitement shines in every little comment that comes from his mouth, showing us how often he thinks about her and dreams of playing with her!  Melt.my.heart.

We spent the next two days sharing with family and close friends our amazing news.  Finally, we decided we could not possibly wait any longer to share with everyone we wanted to share personally, as we were itching to spread the wonderful works of God!  {patience is not a virtue I maintain with such news as this!}  

The day following our match (JULY 9th), we had a phone conversation with birth mom, facilitated by the lawyer.  Having previously met our boys' birth mothers, I was surprised at my nervousness over this phone call.  I think the lack of face-to-face contact for our initial meet-and-greet was cause for my nerves.  Jeff, on the other hand, was calm, cool and collected.  Thank goodness!  The call felt a bit awkward, as is to be expected, but it confirmed for both us and her, that this match was a great decision.

Our next step now is to fly down to Florida to meet with birth mother and father.  We are looking into flights now.  {Having already planned a vacation to Colorado July 11- July 21, we have yet to make those arrangements, but now that we are back that is definitely next on our list!}

And get this!  Birth mom is fine with having an ultrasound done while we are there with her!!!!  Shaking my head at the details of how wonderful God is, orchestrating every detail for us!  Never dreamed that we would be able to experience a {positive/exciting} ultrasound of our baby!  

You are too-too good, Lord!  You know the deep and secret places in my mama heart {some of which are places I am not consciously aware}.  Thank You for loving to lavish me with Your amazing love and surprises!

We have already experienced His incredible creation of our family with our precious boys, but seeing His handprints all over our path to Baby Sis just renews our awe and gratefulness!

In complete and utter amazement, we praise God for His glorious works! 


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