Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
We are SOOOOOOO thrilled! Last night (more like this morning), we both ended up awake at 4am thinking about it...and talking and giggling and dreaming and naming and....We could be parents very soon! All our hopes and dreams are finally coming to fruition! While we don't have the luxury of a due date, we are really, truly "expecting"!!! Woo hoo!
Yet in the midst of all this excitement, I have to be honest about some of my concerns:
*I'm going in for my exploratory surgery next Friday, with the goal of identifying and eliminating potential causes of our infertility. I immediately considered cancelling it, but Jim and our families are encouraging me to follow through, because all of it is still so uncertain. i.e. Maybe this will solve the problem, but maybe not. And maybe we'll get a child soon, but still maybe not. We might as well keep pursuing all our reasonable options, and let God pull all the pieces together as He sees fit (even if that means getting a kid while being pregnant. eek!).
*We will most likely be matched with a child with very real hereditary and/or drug-related issues. While I am okay with this in theory, it is a little scarier once those issues become tangible in a little person. (And by the way, we will be unable to share this private information with anyone once we get the child, so take this as an advanced warning.)
*We plan on actively pursuing movie #2 this summer (after book #2 is finished). Where does a kid fit into that busy process?
But as Jim keeps reminding me, any of those concerns are infinitely better than our state of empty arms currently. So bring it on!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
At Picnic Day, we spent some time watching a track meet, including the "alumni mile"...
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Interviews: Our social worker loved both of our autobiographies, and said they were very well written. They gave great details but were concise and to the point...Well, what can I say, we're writers (wink wink, j/k!). Jim's took an hour in the morning, and I had mine after school. The number one thing I learned through this experience: both of us TOTALLY scored when it came to the parent lottery! Most of the interview was addressing issues of our past, and neither of us had any issues. Our parents did amazing jobs--in spite of adversity and struggles--and it was fun to share about all the wonderful things they had done for us. I almost felt like my answers were too "perfect"...like will it look bad that we haven't experienced things like abuse, addictions, or drama in our lives? Hopefully not.
"The Form": At the end of my interview, our social worker gave me the checklist form where we indicate what kind of kid we're willing to accept. Jim and I filled it out over dinner. We have been so excited to get to this step, but it was actually a pretty difficult. It felt like we were choosing what kind of child was "worth" having--and who are we to judge! I felt guilty and ashamed of some of my restrictions. Just because a child has certain symptoms doesn't make them less of a human or less worthy of our love. If we were pregnant with a child with disabilities, we wouldn't get rid of it. So why should we avoid them now? Those are heavy issues to discuss over dinner! However, I had asked our social worker if we just selected everything, would the computer be more likely to pick out for us the most severe cases, and she said yeah. She suggested being a little more picky at first--really thinking about what we would prefer--and then we could always go back and loosen up our request later...Sooo...we got on the computer to look at how different things affect children growing up...and we considered how some of these conditions would affect our lives/ministry in the future...and we made our selections...Eek!
Overall, I think we still stayed pretty open minded. Ethnicity, we made no preferences. Behavior, we accepted anything. Heredity, we said bring it on (heck! schizophrenia, depression, and mental illness run in my genetic code, thanks to my mom's lovely side of the family, so I've got just as much luck here as if we were having a child that we conceived!). Even drug exposure, we checked them all. (We discovered, ironically, that even babies exposed to cocaine and meth have less risk of brain damage than alcohol exposed babies. Isn't that crazy?! The legalized substance will absolutely wreck a child's brain capacity, but the illegal stuff will "merely" expose them to withdrawal symptoms and potential behavior issues down the road. I would fully support another Prohibition!!!)...And that's where we started saying no. We said no to infants with alcohol exposure (except for mild/possible). We said no to babies with brain damage. We said no to cerebral palsy, and Downs Syndrome, and autism (except mild forms). We almost said no to babies of incest, due to genetic abnormalities, but decided to keep that one at the last moment. I think we said no to a few other severe disabilities, and felt horrible each time. Whew! What a weight of responsibility!
We have a week and a half before we submit this form, so I suppose we could still change our minds. Next Friday, we have our final (yes, that's correct...our FINAL!!!) interview, and then it's all about processing the paperwork.
If you could, please pray that the paperwork process would go as speedily as God allows it. Our social worker is swamped right now, and it could take months or longer.
Also, please pray for our Foster Licensing paperwork. I just found out that our Foster social worker went out on medical leave before processing us (we finished it all back in January), and our file is somewhere lost in the shuffle.
And pray that God prepares us for whatever child he chooses to place with us--special needs and all!
I'm curious, if you had to make these choices (or if you already did)...what would you choose?
Saturday, April 10, 2010
(This is only about half of the food I bought for the week. I heaped up 3 baskets at Costco, 1 at Food 4 Less, and 4 at Walmart...You should have seen people's eyes. It was a great opportunity to tell them about what we were doing!)
(The cute "Barnabas"awards I made for each day's most-encouraging/helpful guy and girl. Everyone was so great, it was so hard to just pick two a day!)
And of course, going back to my ridiculous choice of a task for this week...hey, in spite of all challenges (including my oven overheating--oh the irony!--and conking out mid-week), I enjoyed my time alone and everyone seemed to love the food. I've never had so many requests for recipes! (Seriously, I think anything tastes good to a teenager after working hard all day.)...The introverted side of me got to spend most of my day alone in my kitchen, which is just what I needed; and then I got to hang out with everyone at meal times to hear all the cool stories.
I'm utterly exhausted, and nowhere near ready to go back to school in 2 days. And I didn't get the writing on our sequel done that I needed to (so why am I writing here? hmmmm....). But it was a good week.
Friday, April 2, 2010
This transformation took place within the span of less than a minute. Every one of my crisp white tablecloths is perfectly clean. It's amazing.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
As we picked up our final certificates, Jim conferred with our social worker (who hosted the class) about our last 3 interviews this month, and asked about what the timeline for an actual child placement might look like. We know that it all depends on the situation, and could be immediate or several years, but I guess Jim just wanted a hopeful answer.
Hope is not what we got.
Her trite response was "Oh, that could be another year and a half." We wandered back to the car, and reality hit us like a dump truck. The elation of being "done" deflated into the understanding that the waiting game is really just starting.
But we're tired of waiting. We want a child of our own so much it hurts. Last weekend, Jim's sister's baby came for a visit (ok, so Matt and Becky came, too), and Jim just couldn't wait to get home to play with her. At church, he wanted to be the one to pick her up from the nursery, and then he carried her around on a tour of the church showing her off to anyone he saw...I'm going through that phase again where just the sight of a pregnant woman or a baby in the store gets me all teary...We can't wait!...But it looks like we have to...Urgh!
As we drove back home, we sighed and reassured ourselves that God has a plan, and however long it takes, it's going to be perfect. Maybe He'll surprise all of us with an immediate match. Maybe He'll wait until we're done with all our writing and movie-making dreams. (I hope not, because I'm not sure if Jim will ever be done with those!) Maybe (dare I think this aloud?) He's going to let me get pregnant afterall, and then match us with a child so we get the twins I've dreamed about...
Whatever that "maybe" entails, we can't keep living for the future. We have to live in today. We have a novel sequel to finish. We have another movie script we're moving forward on. We have teenagers who need us. We have a missions trip coming up in five days. We're going to Haiti this summer!
So, onward we go. Any of you praying for our adoption process, please pray that God will continue to grant us peace and patience, and that He'll be preparing us to meet the needs of whatever child(ren) He gives us in His perfect timing. Thanks!