Friday, April 4, 2014

Silence

There has been a long silence on our blog.  Days, weeks, even months have passed since our last post.  I have several posts swirling around in my head including our referral day post and Little A's 3rd birthday post but to be honest it is hard for me to sit and write about our precious Little A while we continue to wait.

We have had to wait almost 2 months for a specific clearance form in order for our home study to be resubmitted for approval by DCFS and USCIS.  For those who do not know, we had to have our home study updated due to Little A's age and biographical description.  The home study must contain exact wording that shows that Little A is a good match for our family. 

Just yesterday we received word that our clearance form had been received and our home study would be resubmitted.  Praise God! 

The past two months have been some of the most difficult waiting room moments in our adoption process.  I have pictures and videos of my precious daughter who is thousands of miles away but I cannot go to her.  Each day I look at her face in the photographs, full of joy and wonder, and my arms ache to hold her.  I want to be able to touch her face and memorize everything about her.  I want to hear her giggle and know the sound of her voice.  I know the day is coming when all of these things will take place but the wait is hard. 

As hard as the past two months have been I also realize that our wait has been considerably shorter than the wait other friends have endured.  We have dear friends who have had their referral almost 18 months and they continue to wait, other friends waited 6 years for their referral and others continue to await a referral.  Adoption is not for the faint of heart.  There are many unknowns, many challenges and many hours spent in the waiting room.  We do not know when we will travel to bring Little A home but as we wait I want to wait with grace.  It is my desire to honor my daughter and my heavenly Father in the waiting room.  Sometimes silence is necessary in order to wait well. 

We will continue to wait and we will continue to pray and one day (hopefully soon) we will be able to declare, "She is ours, our precious Annalise has come home.  Praise God for all He has done!"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Trust

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

At the beginning of October, Daniel's mom asked us if there were certain scriptures we had been praying for our adoption or Little A.  At the time there was not a specific verse or verses but it caused us to pause and to begin thinking about what verses we would like to have represent our adoption journey.  

Eleanor was quite adamant that we should use Proverbs 3:5-6.  She had recently learned these verses at school and she wanted them to be our adoption verses.  At first I was not sure these were the verses we should use but I soon realized these were the perfect verses to pray over our adoption journey.  I want our adoption story to be God’s story.  I want to trust God to lead us to our Little A.  We had already taken great steps of faith and I want us to continue to live lives that are characterized by trusting God even when things do not look as we had expected.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

These verses perfectly encompass what I desire for our adoption journey. 

 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Our Christmas Wish for Little A

Little A,

Our wish for you this Christmas is that you would know that you are loved and you are wanted.  The baby who came and was placed in the manger over 2000 years ago came for you.  He came that you might have a relationship with your Heavenly Father, God.  Little A, you have a Heavenly Father who loves you much more than any of us can ever comprehend.  He formed you in your birth mother's womb, He protected you and gave you life.  He watched over you as you grew and continues to watch over you now as you await your forever family and He is watching over us too.
Of course, I wish you were here with us as we celebrate Christmas and the birth of Christ, but ultimately my wish for you is that you would one day personally know the one whom we celebrate today.

I pray that today you would know you are loved.  I pray you would not be afraid or lonely.  I pray you would feel the love of Christ enveloping you and that you would hear Him whisper in your heart, "I created you, I love you, you are mine and you are wanted."

Merry Christmas, Little A.  Hoping and praying you will be with us next Christmas.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Letter to Little A on Thanksgiving Day

Little A,

Last year at this time we had just begun the adoption process and the journey that would lead us to you.  This year, we had hoped we would have our referral and had seen your face by today but that was not the plan.  We continue to await our referral.  We continue to await the introduction to our little ladybug.  Today we are celebrating Thanksgiving and giving thanks for the many blessings in our lives.  We have so very much to be thankful for.  Little A, we are thankful for you.  We are thankful for the ways you have already impacted our family and we have yet to meet you.  We are thankful for your life.  You were fearfully and wonderfully made by your Heavenly Father and we cannot wait to get to know you.  We are thankful for your birth parents and for the gift of life they gave to you.  We are thankful for our adoption agency and the people who are working hard to bring you home to your forever family.  We are thankful for the people who are caring for you while you are away from us.  Most of all we are thankful to God for calling us into this wonderful adventure of adoption and for watching over you until it is time for you to come home.

We love you Little A and are praying that you will be here to celebrate Thanksgiving with us next year!

Love,
Mama, Daddy and E

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tiny Whispers

A year ago this month Daniel and I stepped out in faith and sent an application to Holt International in anticipation of adopting a little girl from China.  A year ago yesterday we were accepted to Holt's China program.  One year!  Reaching the one year mark of our journey has been a little hard but in recent days God has provided tiny, gentle whispers to my soul as we continue to await our referral.
We have been on the waiting family list 5 months now and to be honest I am feeling a little impatient.  I wake up each morning wondering if today will be the day we get "THE CALL!"  Will I answer the phone and hear "Hi Gloria, this is your referral call!"?  As I am out and about doing the daily tasks of life I hear a baby cry and I wonder if my little one is crying.  Is someone caring well for her?  Does she know she is loved?  I see a teenage girl in a restaurant and I wonder if our Sweet A will one day grow to look like her.  I play peek-a-boo with our friend's little one and dream of the day I will be able to play peek-a-boo with my own precious one.

But God is SO faithful.  It is in the hard moments He provides those tiny whispers.  The reminders that He's got this.  His timing is perfect and His grace is sufficient.  The reminder that Little A is not alone.  She has a Heavenly Father who loves her and knows everything about her.  It is the young lady I see in the restaurant, the little girl with a repaired cleft lip on the playground, the adoptive family at the zoo, the ladybug that lands on my window while I wait in the car pool line, the email advertisement from Asiana Airlines.  My Father has got this.  He whispers to me to trust Him, trust His timing, trust His will.

So thankful for the tiny whispers and so thankful that God is faithful!


Saturday, August 31, 2013

If I Had A Dollar

I am sure many of my fellow adoptive mama friends can relate to this post and so I write.  As a disclaimer - I am not writing this because I have been offended or hurt.  I just wanted to share some things that have been on my mind.  If as you read this post you think, "is she talking about me?," chances are the answer is NO. 

One of the frequently spouted off comments to adoptive families is "I bet you will get pregnant after you bring your little one home from (insert country)."  Most people who make this statement have no idea what has brought you and your family to the adoption journey.  In our case, adoption was always a part of our family plan, however unexplained secondary infertility brought about this chapter in our lives a little sooner than we anticipated.

As we have walked this happy road of adoption I have heard the above referenced comment at least 50 times if not more.  My response has been and will remain, "I hope you are right!"  However, I feel it is important to share that if this does happen I do not want to become another one of those stories - you know the ones I am talking about - "I have a friend who tried to get pregnant for many years and was told it would never happen.  They adopted their son/daughter from (insert country) and 2 months later she found out she was pregnant." 

The truth of the matter is that it could very well happen to us.  We have been pregnant.  More than once.  We have a beautiful little girl who entered our family through birth and we will have another beautiful little girl enter our family through adoption.  There is no physical reason for us not to be able to have another biological child.  So, if God chooses to bless us with another child after Little A has joined our family - Praise Him!  If He chooses not to bless us with another biological child after Little A has joined our family - Praise Him! 


If you have ever made the aforementioned comment to an adoptive mama, it's OK.  If you have made that statement to me - it's OK.  I hope you are right! However, just know that for some women it is a hard statement to hear.  They know the circumstances that brought them to adoption, they have possibly grieved the loss of biological children or are still grieving, they have faced difficult days and could face more in the future.  So please be sensitive.

And if I ever have the privilege of sharing that we are pregnant again, please do not say "I knew it would happen" or "I told you so!"  THANKS!


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Becoming Color Aware

As you may already know, there is a lot of training and reading involved in the adoption process.  Daniel and I had to complete many hours of online training, read articles and even do homework as part of our home study assessment.  One of our take-aways from the training was the idea of being color aware instead of color blind.  When we become color aware we acknowledge that there is a difference but we do not place expectations, stereotypes and labels on people.  Becoming color aware allows us to appreciate an individual's culture, ethnicity and heritage.  I have always felt drawn to people of different ethnicity and really enjoy learning about different cultures, languages, etc. 

As we have navigated our way through the adoption process it has been such a neat experience to see our precious E develop color awareness.  No matter where we go, whether it be the playground, grocery store, mall or even Chick-fil-A our little girl is drawn to children who are of Asian descent.  She often comments on how her little sister might look like a certain individual we encounter while we are out and about.   I absolutely LOVE this.

Just this past weekend we went to Chick-Fil-A and then made a trip to IKEA.  While at CFA, E went to play in the play place.  Immediately she approached a little Asian girl and began to play with her.  Later E told me that she had asked the little girl if she was from Chi.na and told her that she was going to bring her little sister home from Chi.na.  Later that same day while we were in IKEA E spotted a doll that looked Asian and immediately asked if we could purchase it for baby sister. 

We have tried to encourage E in this area of becoming color aware by introducing books and toys that depict Asian children.  We are so looking forward to the day that our sweet Little A joins our family and finds dolls and books in her room with children who look like her.  It is our hope and prayer that Little A would know that we have not become color blind but that we are color aware and that we want to incorporate her heritage into our home. 

What fun it will be to celebrate Chinese New Year and to share in cultural celebrations that are unlike our own.  We are looking forward to creating some new family traditions that will blend both the Chinese and American cultures as we strive to help our daughters become more and more color aware.