Friday, February 27, 2015

GUESS WHO IS FOUR!?!?

Make a Wish, Sweet Babe O' Mine!

We had such FUN celebrating Kaleab today!  I can hardly believe he is four!  The time flies by so quickly, and every new year brings with it new discoveries, new interests, new ways to have fun together, and new things to laugh about!  And a new-found depth of love for this boy!!  Just when I think I couldn't love him more!

He has grown so much this year!  Physically as well as emotionally and intellectually!  From knowing all of his letters and their sounds and knowing how to count to fifteen {recognizes consistently 1-10}..........to expanding his already vast vocabulary and learning how to rhyme words.
From playing with toys by acting out movies and storybooks...........to expanding those stories with his own imaginatory play.

From riding his strider bike to riding a big boy bike last Summer!  From playing with "little boy" toys to playing games like "Go Fish," "The Match Game," "Candy Land," "Gumball Grabber "and Toddler "Sequence!"  From watching Jake and the Never Land Pirates to acting as a "Puney Pirate" himself.  All of it!  I love every single minute of staying home with this boy!  {nope!  still don't miss practicing as a Physical Therapist!  My boys fill my days too beautifully to want to do anything else right now!}

Peanut continues to bring such love and light into our days and lives!  So amazed by all of the goodness this precious boy brings to our family!  My heart overflows.......

I often reflect upon the journey to our boys and remember sitting in Kaleab's nursery, rocking with empty arms, crying and praying him home.......and now I have the joy and privilege to love, nurture , giggle with and raise this sweet angel every single day.  BLOWS ME AWAY!!!!

Ka and I had a "THREE-YEAR-OLD INTERVIEW" in bed Tuesday night, his last night of being three.  Oh how I wish I would have recorded the interview!  It was priceless!  He hammed it up so well, like he was really getting interviewed!  I'm gonna see if I can get him to re-enact it for me for a keepsake!  {no luck with that yet}

Here are the answers to his questions I asked in the "interview."

FAVORITE COLOR:  "Blue!"
FAVORITE ANIMAL:  "Warthog"  {he's into Lion King these days, can you tell?  wink}
FAVORITE BREAKFAST:  "Pancakes"
FAVORITE DINNER:  "Bratwurst"   {LOL!}
FAVORITE GAMES TO PLAY:  "Gumball Grabber and Candyland. Oh!  I love to play Star Wars too!"
FAVORITE MOVIE:  "Planes Fire and Rescue"
FAVORITE SPORT:  "Soccer"
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?  "I don't wanna be a man, Mama!  I want to stay a big boy and play with you!"

As birthday boy, Ka got to choose the dinners for the week.  He chose Bratwurst, Jumbalya, Pancakes, Pizza and Chick-Fil-A!  Not bad!  I thought we were gonna be eating PB&Jelly and chicken nuggets all week.....they never even made the menu!  Thank Goodness!  Ha ha!

Sharing a few other photos from the day!  And will share more after his Birthday Party next week with his friends!


One present I did not wrap was waiting for him to wake up!
And of course we had to leave him a note on the easel! ;)


"I'm an artist!"  {check out his morning hair!}


Elf David arrived for a birthday visit!

Had to put a birthday candle in his egg bake!


I made my mini Star Wars fan a birthday cake!


We had a great mommy-son morning, then went to pee wee soccer, where this sweet boy became completely pooped!  All of the birthday excitement on top of soccer made him more than ready for a birthday nap!  He was out like a light!

Birthday presents were opened in shifts, much like we do at Christmastime, thus spreading the fun and good cheer all throughout the day!  Daddy came home mid morning to open some presents, and others were saved for when Big Brother came home after practice!

And birthday cake was saved for the evening when Daddy and Big Brother could be home to join in on the fun!






JOY exudes from this boy daily, but today was a special treat, watching him soak up turning FOUR!!!

HAPPY FOURTH BIRTHDAY, PEANUT!!!

LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK, SWEET SON!!!



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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BABY SIS IS COMING!!!

It is with great Awe, Excitement and Joy Overflowing, that we share our wonderful news!


OUR PRECIOUS DAUGHTER IS DUE MARCH 18th!!!

God really did save His BEST for our family!!!  His handprints are undeniably all over this beautiful match of Sis and our family!!!  He hand-picked this precious little girl and birth mom for us!!!

Details!?!?!

We have been connected with various agencies and lawyers through our consulting agency Christian Adoption Consultants.  On Monday, February 2, we were contacted by an adoption agency in Salt Lake City, UT.  They were asking if we would like to present our family profile to a situation that they felt was a good mutual fit for our family and birth mom.

We had previously turned down a number of other situations that just didn't seem to "fit" for us....but this situation was different.  Everything about it felt different ~ how well the details fit our hearts' desires, the "connection" I felt when reading birth mom's profile, the location of delivery, and most importantly the undeniable excitement and  hope that was stirred within both Jeff and me!

We of course said "YES, Please!" and began the challenge of awaiting birth mom's decision while trying to remain cautiously hopeful!  I didn't want to get my hopes up too high, but both Jeff and I knew everything about this situation made it feel so right!

Two days after presentation of the profiles, we were called and informed that birth mom had narrowed her decision down to two families, and we were one of them.  To help make her decision, birth mom wanted to speak to these two families {which showed us how much she really cared about making the right decision for her baby!}  Our caseworker shared that it was our family profile that really stood out to her and that she desired to speak to us first.  Which we did the very next day!  {right before leaving for Colorado to see the World Alpine Ski Championships with Jeff's family}

The conversation was WONDERFUL!!!  After 45 minutes of getting to know one another, and experiencing a divine mutual connection, birth mom told the caseworker, Lisa, who was on the conference call with us, that she no longer wanted to speak to the other family.  She liked US!!!  Jeff and I were floored!  We never dreamed she might make her decision that night!

This was a Thursday night.  Though we felt and shared her confidence in this match, we still had to wait for it to be official.  Birth mom's caseworker gave her time to process things, and called her Monday to see if she was ready to make the decision final.  That was a loooong three day wait!  Ufdah!  Good thing we were having so much fun with family at the Alpine World Championships to help pass the time away!  {GO, USA!}


We went skiing as a family on Monday ~ February 9th.....just one week after profiles were presented, though it felt much longer!  Sami and I took off to enjoy the wide, long runs of Beaver Creek while Jeff spent time teaching peanut how to ski the bigger bunny hills.  Kaleab even tried a mini race course!  {Go, Ka!}  Jeff's mom was watching them......and ringing the cow bell {from the ski championships} cheering on Ka!  He loved it!  He  even wanted me to ring the cow bell to cheer him on at pee wee soccer the day after our return home!  Too cute!

Mid ski run on SIMBA, with sweet Sami standing right beside me, I got the call telling us that we were the chosen family!  THIS SWEET BABY GIRL IS OURS!!!!!  The confirmation literally sent God chills throughout my entire body!   The very words I dared hope to hear were just spoken to me!

I hooted on the phone with our caseworker, and after the call, stood mid mountain, face to the heavens, arms open wide, giving out a big "WOOHOO!" to God!  Sami's radiant smile and giggle clearly shined this Big Brother's excitement!

{Though he definitely shared in my JOY, Sami may also have been seen checking out our surroundings to see if anyone around was watching his mama freak out  ~ in a good way!  Such a sweet boy!}  With all our excitement, I totally forgot to take our picture together as the first two to receive the amazing news!!!  BUMMER!!!

SHE. IS. OURS!!!
OUR BABY GIRL IS COMING HOME!!!  SOON!!!

I called Jeff to tell him {couldn't wait until we were going to ski together, and wanted to keep it from his mom so we could do the surprise I mention below}.  His mom, Jenni, snapped a pic of Jeff and Kaleab on the chair lift, having no idea that she just caught "the moment" when I shared the news with him on the phone! 


Jeff quickly joined us for some celebratory ski runs, while a tuckered-out Kaleab took a nap by the fireplace in the lodge with Jenni.  He has no idea of the news we just received.....yet......

I could only do two celebratory ski runs with Jeff and Sami before I was overcome with excitement and just HAD to stop skiing, go into the lodge, and call my parents with the incredible news that their GRANDAUGHTER was coming home SOON!!!!  {insert HUGE mama grin here}

My parents knew that we had presented and how wonderfully the call had gone, and were waiting with baited breath along with us!  OH, the giddy joy we shared when I called them!

I failed to get a pic of me on the phone or me and Sami when getting the call, but we did manage a family photo before departing the mountain!....even though we were looking right into the sun....i had to post this pic!

We kept it from Jenni on the ski hill, because I had wrapped two boxes of matches before we left home, in hopes that we would have reason to CELEBRATE with Jeff's family while on vacation.  {Get it......we hoped to be "matched" with baby sis....so I wrapped a box of matches!  Yes, I am one of those girls!  wink!}

His sister, Tia, had to head home before we received the call, so we weren't able to gift her a box.......but we were able to give the wrapped "clue" to his parents when we returned home from skiing.  It took them a while to figure out what it meant and what fun it was to watch them guess!  Jeff's dad is the one who finally got it!  Way to go Walt!


Our baby girl news was accompanied with a loud squeal from Jenni, huge smiles and tons of questions!  We purposely did not share with them that we had even presented, in hopes of being able to reveal a total surprise in person!  SURPRISE ACCOMPLISHED!  What fun!

OOOHHHHHH!........How I wish I would have taken a video when we told Kaleab that Baby Sis was coming home in March {had to explain that March comes after February}!!  Oh the light that radiated from his entire precious face!  And the sweet dance his eyes performed with the news!  The cheering and clapping!  And that sweet sweet voice of his, saying, "Yeah!  Jesus answered our prayers!"  A moment I will never ever forget!

So what now?........

We are choosing to LOVE BIG again!  We do not regret doing so the first time, and we know that we will not regret it this time, either!  Regardless of the outcome.

It's so hard to explain, but in looking back, we realize that both Jeff and I had more doubt with our first match {seeing it more clearly in hindsight, of course} than we realized.

The peace and confidence this time makes it all feel so incredibly different.  So incredibly right!

We are IN LOVE with this baby girl that we have yet to meet {just as parents fall in love while carrying their little ones biologically}!!  We don't have to see her to feel the connection that only God can create!

And birth mom????.......................

Oh the lack of words to describe her!  Amazing.  Loving.  Caring.  Selfless.  Incredible.  Thoughtful.  Funny.  Friendly.  Determined.  Courageous.  Brave.

We are better people, Jeff and I, just having had the privilege to be a part of this woman's life already in this short time.  {we have had three phone calls with her}

I am excited to share the story of our healing that brought us to this wonderful place, but will save that for another post.

For now, we are BASKING in the glory of this story!  We are soaking in God's faithfulness and love for our family!  We are praising Him for saving His very BEST for us!  We are AWED by the wonders of His work!

And we are dreaming of our precious Baby Girl.  Believing she will forever be in our arms within the next few weeks!

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!   Did I really just say that!?!?  "She will be in our arms in the next few weeks".......!?!?!?!?!?  Abundant blessings, indeed!

PLEASE join us in praying over our sweet Baby Girl as well as her sweet birth mom, "G."

And folks.....I seriously cannot THANK each and every one of you enough for your encouragement, prayers and never-failing belief in the promise we "heard" from above!  God used so many of you to remind me of His faithfulness; to encourage me to believe when I couldn't see what He was up to; to walk blindly in my faith!

Never once did we feel God shutting the door on our adoption.  Instead, we always felt Him steering us, guiding us and directing our path to her.

YOU have walked this path with me, making the dark days lighter, and now making the celebratory days that much more beautiful!

LOVE to each of you, dear friends and family!

And LOVE to You, sweet Baby Sis and "G!"


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Dark Before the Light...


Things seem dark, yes.

We wonder why God would allow us to hurt like this, Oh yeah…..

And yet, we hold on to Him.  Trusting that His bigger picture will hold a beauty beyond our comprehension.  Knowing that there are things we cannot see happening, to bring us a better ending.

 (thanks for this verse Kylie girl!)

There is good for those who love God.

We have to wait for the light.

The pain we are feeling won't compare to the joy that is coming.

This is why I dare to believe I still have a reason to sing
{even though I'm not yet singing again}.

This  is what allows us to believe that we are in the dark before the morning.

And what a beautiful morning awaits us.

Someday.
  


Hit play to listen to the words of this song.
Let them soak deep into your soul.
And remember them.
Always.
We are.



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Saturday, November 1, 2014

We're Home

We made it home late Wednesday night.

It felt good to be in hubby's arms.

And, bless his heart, we came home to a cleaned, dusted and vacuumed home!  As well as this beautiful bouquet of flowers that express his beautiful love for us!……

THANK YOU!!!!!     THANK YOU!!!!    TO ALL WHO ARE LOVING US SO WELL!!!!

My words are void as I try to express my gratitude to ALL of you who have BLESSED us with your words, prayers and encouragement.  So many of you "get it" and for that I am eternally grateful.  Your heartfelt ways of reaching out to me have literally been my lifeline.  And will continue to be in the days ahead.

I want to THANK my dear sweet friend, Wendy, who brought us a yummy soup and delish red wine our first night home.  Both the soup and your thoughtfulness warmed my soul ~ and the red wine was the key to relaxation!  Your sweet friendship is a blessing, my friend!

Ashlynn…...your precious "ray of sunshine" was so thoughtful!  The thirty-one bag filled with all things yellow, to bring sunshine to my days has done just that!  And the movie!  Oh, "Mom's Night Out" is just as bit funny as peeps have said it was!  Thanks for the laughs.  I needed them!  And what a great family cuddle night we had on the couch last night…sprinkled with your chocolate!  Your thoughtfulness abounds!

My emotions are on quite the roller coaster ride.  I feel sick and want off.

I'm reminded of how Jesus asked God if the burden of his crucifixion could be removed…"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."  {Luke 22:42}

Jesus wanted to skip that dark and scary and painful chapter.  And yet, He wanted more than anything for God's will to be carried out above His own.  

Now, I'm not saying IN ANY WAY that this chapter of our adoption comes even close to comparing to the crucifixion of Jesus.  What I am saying, is that the crucifixion reminds me of Jesus' faithfulness.  His steadfastness.  

Jesus stuck it out.  

He walked out a much harder sacrifice…….all the while trusting that God's will was better than His own.  Trusting that God's ways were higher than His ways.  

This encourages me.  Though I may not like where we are right now, Jesus endured much worse, and still offered God his complete surrender and trust.

I want to do the same.  I want to walk out God's plan for us.  For our family.  

Though fear and doubt exist, I don't want them to hinder our trust and belief in God.

I want to continue to completely surrender and trust that God's ways are higher.  

I want to trust that He WILL bring us through this.  That there will be Joy in the morning, if we can just endure the present darkness.

We do BELIEVE that God has a baby girl for us.  And He will bring her to us, and us to her.

At the right and perfect time.  HIS divine time.

Until then…..we endure the sorrow.  We ask God to heal our broken hearts.  We thank Him for the love that surrounds us.

And we pray that He brings the light.  Soon.



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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TEARS

I can't believe I have to write this.  I don't know how to even write this.

I have even had a couple of days to process this and I am still numb.  Speechless.  Though my heart has had many words to say through tears.

The boys and I arrived in Florida Sunday evening, and we were just walking into the hotel when Jeff called with life-changing news.

Birth Mom had delivered the baby on Friday and had just contacted the lawyer to say that she and birth dad had decided to parent this baby girl.

Tears roll as I type this news.

I am in shock.  I am numb.  I am devastated.  
I am angry, hurt, confused and bewildered.

We knew that this could happen, it's just that the birth parents had been so resolute about their decision. That is, up until a week or two before delivery.

I don't hold a grudge toward the birth parents.  My heart has gone out to them innumerable times as I try to imagine their situation.

I don't hold anger towards God for allowing this to happen.  I am trying HARD to cling to my belief that He brought us to this adoption journey and He will only allow the gifting of THE SPECIFIC baby girl that HE has chosen for our family.  

But I do have anger.  Anger toward the outcome.  Anger toward the loss.  Oh, the dreams that are lost.

Not that I have lost faith that God is guiding us, but the dreams for this particular babe are gone.  They were taken away from me so suddenly and unexpectedly.

This ~ this heartbreak and agony and deep loss ~ is part of our journey to the precious child God has for us.  I just wish we could have skipped this dark chapter of the journey.

For, amongst the anger, stirs so many stronger emotions such as devastation.  Deep hurt.  Confusion and bewilderment.

This sudden and unexpected turn of events has brought such a heaviness upon my heart that I find it hard to breathe.  I struggle to understand.  I repeatedly ask why this had to end this way.

After all, I may not have carried this baby in my belly, but I certainly carried her deeply within my heart.  Just as a bio mom loves her unborn child and anticipates the meeting of her, so did I.  Just as a birth mom can't wait to meet the sweet face she has been imagining for months, I did too.  Just as a child grows her own little space within her birth mom's heart, this sweet baby girl grew her very own space in my heart as well.

And now what do I do with this love????????????

My head is still spinning.  My heart is still trying to cling to God while trying to trust that He has not forgotten us, but is, instead, working in ways that I cannot see, to bring the very baby girl He desires to gift us, home.

My head knows this.  To the core.  But my heart is trying to get that confident faith back.

Jeff has been trying to touch base with many of you to spare me the sad sharing of our news.  Thank you, sweetheart.  I have not had it in me to share this change of events with very many, for saying or even texting the words make it all seem too real for me to face.  I don't have the words.  Only tears.  


Please know that I cannot even begin to thank you enough, family and friends, who have been covering us in prayer these past two days!!!   Your calls and texts have literally lifted me.  And I have to share that I have physically felt your prayers ~ especially today!    I found breathing a little easier.  I found my faith building strength.  I felt hope again.  I even laughed out loud with my boys.  Thanks to your prayers, kind words in texts, emails and voice messages.  

We are blessed to call you family and friends!!!!

Jeff is still in Boise, and sweet husband of mine, you have managed to be my rock even being on the opposite corner of this continent.  THANK YOU for upholding me from afar.  For breathing God's Word and His faithfulness into me, and for encouraging me to grieve in whatever manner I need to. 

You truly are my soul mate.  I've hated not having you here with us during this time, but you made your presence evident.  Your protection and provision for us has been nothing short of stellar, and I cannot find words to sufficiently express my appreciation of you, babe.

As I have said all along, it is our boys that built my faith in God's divine and specific orchestration of family, whether created biologically or via adoption.  And now, in my grief, it is still our boys who serve as my constant reminder of God's faithfulness.  It was a long and bumpy road to these precious boys, and I have always said that every tear shed during the wait for them was worth it, because God abundantly blessed us beyond our wildest imagination with our sons!

It is because of our boys that I can still hold strong to God in this.  I do not understand, nor do I like this chapter of our family story.  But I do know that I know He would only allow this to happen if He had a better version of our story in the works.

This match seemed to meet all of my personal desires.  I refuse to stop believing that one day  God will gift us an even better match.  Better, because it will bring us to our precious and already loved baby girl whom God has already chosen for us.



Until then, please pray for this sweet baby girl.  That she has a wonderful life filled with love and laughter.

And please keep my family and me in your prayers as we find a way to allow this new twist to settle.  Please pray for protection of our hearts.  May fear not be allowed to sneak in {please include Big Brother in this prayer}.  

Peanut knew that MAYBE God was going to bring us Baby Sis during our time in Florida.  MAYBE not.  So learning that it was a Maybe Not, he was not rattled.  He was not moved.  He is content to keep waiting.  

Oh the childlike faith we are called to have.  May I find it again.  Soon.


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