Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Friends :)

I came home to this on my driveway today. One of my best friends made it up for me. She is a huge advocate for breastfeeding and is overjoyed that I will choosing to do it. So sweet and thoughtful! And I love the card.

I also had another friend drop off a "gotcha day" gift. It was a bag filled with the things that she said helped with bonding with her adopted children! Another friend gave some thoughtful signs for Isaac to hold for a photoshoot when he gets home! And of course his Aunty's showering him in gifts, begging for a registry, new Mexx outfits and who knows what else...

Spoiled? Um yes!! Already overwhelmed by everyone. Feeling so loved and more importantly my sweet Isaac is so loved! More than the gifts have been people's words. So kind, full of love and joy. I am so blessed to have so many people walk this road with us. I can't put into words the gratitude I have for each one of you congratulating us through messages, phone calls and in person. It's so much, I am so grateful. I will be updating more often as this adoption rolls along. I will keep you as best informed as I can! Thank-you again for all your love my beautiful family and friends!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Adoptive Breastfeeding

As the joy still continues to sink in every time I look at my son, my mind is beginning to switch gears. I am beginning to prepare. As it was a complete shock that we got such a young little baby, there are so many things to think about! We were thinking we would most likely get an older boy, so we are switching the gears in our minds. We are thinking of all things baby; sleeping, playing, diapers, teething, carrying, bathing and of course feeding. I have decided that I would like to breastfeed. I wasn't going to come outright and tell everyone, but I was encouraged by a friend that I needed to be an advocate for adoptive breastfeeding. Not many people have heard of it, but it is, in my mind, one of the best things I can do for my son. As I did not know what age my child would be, I have not really looked into this before... it is all new to me. I have been quick, however, to begin the process as it can take some time and I want to harness every day that I have. In preparation, there are medications that I am currently on to hopefully induce lactation. I began this process quickly, knowing without a doubt that this was something I wanted to do. It is only slowly sinking in now as to why this is so important to me.  It dawned on me this morning as I started to feel slightly nauseated at the thought of a certain foods, that instead of hating this feeling as I usually do, I am starting to enjoy it. You most likely will think I'm crazy, but let me explain. Up until now I've had no part in Isaac's upbringing. I have had no way to be his mama. I can not hold him, bath him, rock him or feed him. I had no part in his birth mama's pregnancy or delivery, although I know that our prayers have carried her through. But physically there has been no part I've played, until now. To feel nauseous, hungry, craving some things, I am beginning to feel connected to my son. As if in some way I am "pregnant" with him, I feel physically connected. Preparing to breastfeeding is the one thing that I can physically offer to my son. When you are pregnant you basically resign your body to your growing child inside. It is no longer your body but your baby's body. Everything becomes about them, your growing, your changing, your sickness, your entire shape begins to change for them. I don't get that, my body stays the same, except for maybe some extra pounds from stress eating during this adoption process! But this is my chance for my body to become my son's. He may not have grown inside me, but I am still his. I want to change for him, to feel different for him, to feel like I am becoming a mama. And physically as I begin to change in very small ways, I somehow feel connected to his birth mom as well. This beautiful stranger, who carried our son. She choose life for him. Her body changed, swelled, adapted. She felt his first movements, his heartbeat and she carried him into this world. I can't imagine. She placed him somewhere were he would be found and taken care of, she chose life for him. And now I get to continue in choosing life for this boy. I get to be the second mama. And somehow I am connected to this beautiful women in Ethiopia, not through relationship but through our son. The boy we both will choose life for. So in part of that, I believe the best thing I can give my son is breastmilk. I want him to have the best; the best food, clothes, blankets, lotions, bed, etc. I'm not saying he will get it all, but I'm saying this is how I feel. Breast milk is the best nutrition I can give him right now. I realize it may not work out and he may not latch, but I feel this is worth fighting for. He is worth changing for, feeling nauseous for, hurting for. He deserves the best of what I can offer him. So as I wait for him, prepare for him, I pray that I can provide this God given gift to him.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"He will laugh"

I can't believe I am writing this post. I honestly did not know if this day would ever come. It's not that I lost hope completely but I had recently resigned myself to the fact that this adoption might just take a few more years. But, Guess what????????? WE GOT THE CALL !!!!!!!!!!! It is a 6 month old boy from Ethiopia. God is so good and before I talk anymore, I need to give him the glory for this little boy. It is because of him that he is.

So here is the story.

This past summer we had begun to grow weary of waiting on this adoption, as you can see from reading earlier posts. I had alluded in one post that maybe the ship had sailed and it was time to move on. What I didn't say was that we were beginning a new adoption process. We had heard that Hungary had opened in Canada for adoptions and since that is where Arnie's family is from, we had decided to look into it. We spent the summer updating our paperwork from Ethiopia but also beginning paperwork for an adoption from Hungary. Our homestudy just seemed to drag on and on. It seemed we had to wait for everything! Two weeks ago we finally received our completed homestudy. I immediately sent it to the government for their approval. The average time frame is 4-8 weeks. A few days after I had sent it, we got a phone call from our agency saying that the government workers had called them to say we were missing a paper for the homestudy... the paper that gives us approval to do the homestudy in the first place!! My husband called me and said this, "You need to call Christian Adoption back because our Hungarian adoption is on hold because we forgot to do something". There is a rule of thumb in adoption, never use the words "adoption" and "on hold" in the same sentence. I immediately freaked out. I was so angry that day, angry at the paperwork, angry at myself and angry at God. I had a conversation with my husband about being angry with God. I didn't understand that if He loved adoption so much and told us to fight for the orphans, why then everywhere we turn we see red tape! I didn't stay angry too long though. I have some great friends who have stood by me in everything and on this particular day, they knew just what to say :) So we did the missing paper and sent it in, problem solved and we were ready to move on. At this point everything seemed impossible. I had my eyes set on waiting for our Hungarian homestudy to be approved so I was "on hold" so to speak. I just kept thinking about Christmas and spending it with my family and was hopeful that in the new year maybe then we could get a referral. I had spoken with a few people about our recent plans, but I had recently talked about just longing for our Ethiopian adoption to be finished before we opened another door. I wanted so badly to be finished with the first one, the one we started with before moving on. 

Friday November 16, 2012
I spent the day at my sister's house making cake pops for a fundraiser. We finished around 2pm and I headed home to prepare for the bible study I was supposed to be leading that evening. I sat at the table with my book and some food when my husband called me. He asked me where I was and then said, "Ok, I'm coming home." I thought nothing of it. About 10 minutes later, he walked in the front door, and sat down at the table. With tears in his eyes, he grabbed my hand. At this point my stomach dropped. The last time he looked at me like that was when he had to tell me my dog had died. He doesn't usually have intense emotion, so when my husband cries it is for a reason. He looked at me and said, "It's a 6 month old boy." WHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTT ??????????????? Now you can insert some screaming and some NO WAY's a few ARE YOU SERIOUS's and some more crying. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would get a baby. Well I secretly hoped for one but I just didn't think that that would ever happen for us. After I danced, jumped, fist pumped the air, I gained enough composure to find a phone, or maybe that was my husband? Anyways, we called the social worker to find out the details... and more importantly to see our little man for the first time. I had enough brain cells to videotape the conversation and to video us seeing his little face for the first time.
 Instant love. This handsome little man was who we fought for all these years. He was the reason we gave our blood, urine, fingerprints, time, money, tears, prayers. He is the reason we didn't give up. And he is laying there with the most handsome smile, arms wide open as if to say, "come and get me!!"I was speechless, literally had the breath taken out of me. I couldn't form a sentence, just shock and joy and disbelief, this little guy is for us!!!
On wednesday, after I had my meltdown over that paper, I searched adoption quotes. I wanted to find something to help me keep fighting and this is the quote I posted on facebook:

“Be assured that if God makes you wait longer than you wish, it is only to make the blessing all the more precious.” 

I cried when I read it, It hit me in the heart. I knew God would be faithful, I knew it would be hard but I knew He had a plan for us. If only I knew that plan would start to unfold only two days later! 
Our God is good. It wasn't easy to wait, in fact it was painful and it outright sucked, but Jesus never left me. I'm not sure how I can put this into words. He didn't let me sink too low but he did allow me to feel the pain. He let me feel the hole in my heart, I think because He wanted to fill it. Something I learned about God is that He loves to be the one who we fill the holes in our hearts with. SO many times, I couldn't handle the wait and the pain, but He was ALWAYS faithful to pick me up and help me keep fighting. All those times I thought that He was not fighting on our behalf, I can see now that He was busy picking me up off the floor and making me strong enough to get up and fight some more. He was fighting through me.
I can't tell you how hard it was to be the only one without a child, how badly I wanted to be a mom. How hurtful it was to not only have lost my mom at a young age, but then not be able to become a mom. I shed many tears over this. But no matter how hard the storm would hit, there was Jesus sleeping in my boat, calling me over, looking at me and saying, "Come and rest with me Daughter, I've got it all figured out!" 
And He did, he is here, my sweet little boy... I just can't believe it.
Oe of the first things I said when we got off the phone with the social worker was, "He needs a name!" My husband said we needed to pray about it so I said, "Jesus what's His name!!??" Are little son's name is Isaac. It means, "he will laugh". But more than that he was the promised son to Abraham and Sarah. That story often got to me. Their wait, my wait, God's faithfulness. Sarah seemed to be unloving and seemed to be full of anger over her situation but it says, "Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he promised." Not only the miracle that Isaac's birth was, the story that comes after also gets to me. Abraham was called to lay his only son on the alter. I can't tell you the amount of times I have had to lay my child on the alter. My desire, my greed, my selfishness, I had to lay it down in order to receive back what God had for me. I often thought of if I never had a child, would I still love Jesus. I look back over this year and I am happy. I resolved in my heart that not a day would be wasted. That my life would not be completed because of a child, but that it would be completed because of Jesus. I can say that my life is so full, and now with Isaac... I may just be bursting at the seems!!!! I can't wait to post pictures of this sweet little man. He is so precious.
On my way home from my sister's house on friday, I was talking to God about my future child. I asked him if our child could be cute. He didn't have to be "worldly" cute but I had to think he was cute. It was a selfish prayer I know... but for some reason Jesus decided not only would he give us a cute son, but that he would pick the cutest baby in all of Ethiopia to be our son!! He is perfect in every way and we could not be happier. 
And since I can't post pictures of him until we get a court date, I will post our Christmas photo our friend took this year (It will have to change now though :)

So your next question is, "when do you get him?" We will have to wait for a court date now. I've seen some as quick as 2 months and some as long as 8 months. So we ask you to please pray that our baby can come home as soon as possible! I just want him home right away, but I know the timing will be perfect!

Thank-you to everyone who prayed and fought along side us, we have a son because of you. Isaac has an army behind him, I can't wait to tell him all about it one day!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Garage sale money

Today we are meeting with our agency! They will be travelling to ethiopia at the end of this month so we are sending the garage sale money we raised this summer with them to donate on our behalf to the orphanage. We are so excited to do this and again thank everyone who helped us this summer. Hopefully we will let you know at the end of the month more specifically how the money will be used!