We are very proud of her. Daddy was sad to be out of state & unable to attend.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
We are very proud of her. Daddy was sad to be out of state & unable to attend.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Such is the case now. I'd love to tell you that this journey has been full of warm fuzzies. It hasn't. This journey has challenged us in many new ways. However, as I look back at each testimony to each of our children, I can see how God has been preparing us...in faith, in surrender, in our family/marriage, in trust, & in OBEDIENCE. In each journey, He took away our preconceived notions of what WE thought we could handle (be it needs or circumstances surrounding situations), & replaced them with our children. And that's what this journey finally came down to. Why would we not trust the Lord in what He's putting on our hearts? He has been faithful; He has blessed this family beyond words. This life is not always easy (ha, just read my Reality Post), but it has brought me to a place of knowing what true joy is.
Yes, I have had doubtful, fear-filled moments where I grow weary & lose heart. "Lord, life is so crazy right now with Joe in the midst of his doctoral work." "Lord, we are essentially artificially twinning these babies." "Lord, how will I manage traveling to China & leaving Kendi behind...she's still a baby?" "Lord, the money?" "Lord, what if my arms aren't big enough?" "Lord, "things" are so good in our family...what if she doesn't like us?" "Lord, what if....?" One day in my worries & questions, a question came right back at me. "Dardi, what if you weren't going to bring her home?" That feeling of grief that I had when we initially let her file go washed over me all over again. So, when those negative thoughts threaten me, I go back. I go back to what I KNOW (see previous testimonies), I go back to that horrible feeling of loss, & I go back to the TRUTH. God does not choose the equipped; He equips the chosen. This is an entry from my written journal in June:
Monday, November 14, 2011
Well, I guess since I was dismissing the nudges, God pulled out some bigger guns. I have enjoyed reading blogs over the last few years b/c I find much encouragement, & it helps me feel connected with others that are traveling similar roads. I especially enjoyed them as Kendi was tiny b/c I wasn't getting out in the winter too much & there's not much I care to watch on t.v. Anyway, suddenly it seemed everywhere I turned, every thing I read, kept putting China SN adoptions in front of my face. Only once did we even glance in the way of adopting from China many years ago after attending a Steven Curtis Chapman concert, but after seeing the requirements & financial aspect, we never glanced that way again b/c we didn't qualify. However, that was years ago when the non-special needs adoptions were at their height, & also when we had never seriously prayed about adoption or felt that "nudge".
Honestly, I was quite perplexed. I came up with every reason under the sun (including the fact that my husband said we were D.O.N.E.) & would go to bed resolved not to give it another thought. And then I would wake up in the morning consumed all over again. Before I knew it, I was a member of a yahoo group that advocates for waiting children, & I would scour that site daily learning about the process, following links that would take me to sites so I could research special needs, & looking at picture after picture of children who wait. And each day my heart was being broken more for these children. Beautiful, innocent, waiting children.
Finally one afternoon, I TEXTED (yes, for real) my husband & said, "What do you think about adopting from China?". People, I got nothin' but silence for 3 HOURS. I just couldn't take it anymore, so I casually (ha) called him to see how his day was going, if he got my text....If I'm being *really* honest, I was kind of looking for the "no" from him so I could just put this whole business to rest once & for all. Yes, he had gotten my text, so I said, "Well, I guess the 3 hours of silence is a 'no' then." He said, "It's not an anything...I've been praying about it." Oh. Have I ever mentioned that I really love this husband of mine?
We decided it was best to continue praying, & he also had a lot of questions. He was under the impression that there was a very long wait b/c he had only heard of the NSN route. He had not heard of the SN program. We also started talking about what special needs we felt we could handle (it was a nice thought, you know, to DECIDE what WE could handle...wouldn't you think by now I would know better? More on this in a bit). After some time, we also felt like we were supposed to "find" our child & not wait for a match. I should have put two and two together when we felt so convicted of this that God had something in mind outside of OUR parameters.
We began looking at some files of children, mostly around Kaya's age, thinking that age may be
I'd love to tell you that we got her file & just jumped right in without another thought. We did get her file, even put it on hold while we had it reviewed by our pediatrician who was having it reviewed by a specialist, & then we got scared & decided not to move forward. I still remember the day we made that decision. I was sitting at the kitchen table while Joe was doing something in the kitchen, & as I typed the email to let the agency know our decision, I cried a horrible, grieving cry. Mind you, we had reviewed other files, but I had not fallen apart like this before.
Over the next several weeks, we reviewed a couple more files & I kept watching for the little one we walked away from to find her way back to the waiting child photolisting (her picture had been taken down when we had locked her file). When it never reappeared, I assumed that someone else had been waiting to see her file & had committed to bringing her home, but I thought of her every day. Then it seemed to become a complete preoccupation...she was on my mind all the time. On the Friday of Memorial weekend, I couldn't help myself. I emailed the coordinator at the agency to see if "Jill's" family had found her. Within an hour she emailed back to tell me that, no, she was still waiting. Upon reading those words, I got the worst case of butterflies ever. What was going on?
After we had released the file, we had discovered an international adoption specialist that reviews files by email. I told Joe what I had done (ok, I texted him again...I'm a goober, but he was at work & I wasn't sure what he would make of any emotional ramblings that I would try to put together to explain), & he agreed that we should send her file to be reviewed so we could at least have a better understanding of this little girl's potential needs. Being that it was a holiday weekend, I thought it might be the next Tuesday before we would hear anything. Umm, no, the doctor called us at 10:00 that night! By the
The phone call from the specialist did not make her needs go away. She is still missing her fingers, & she still has spina bifida. However, we felt we had a better understanding. But even more important, we know that we know that we know that God has woven this child into our hearts. She was no longer a file of a child with a diagnosis...she became our daughter.
Friday, November 11, 2011
**I still have a Part 4 that I am working on, but I have been up to my eyeballs in stuff, & I do believe I am now going to use my dear blog friends to decompress from said stuff!**
Every once in awhile when someone finds out the size of our family, we get the ever-so-cute, "Are you going to have your own reality TV show?"
I am fairly certain that my reality is not TV worthy.
However, it is reality. And today has been one of THOSE days.
First of all, our garage has been full of stuff we need to sell. Yes, I realize it is almost the middle of November. That's why I realized it is really now or never. So in a brilliant move on my part, I scheduled an ad to run in the paper, beginning today, for the sale tomorrow. I figured a deadline would be a good thing. Would have been a great plan except that I forgot that this weekend I am flying solo. Joe left this morning. Dude.
I tried to get some things done today, but not an easy task with a one-year old, mobile child that should have a hurricane named after her. Then, I had Kade's yearly physical on the books. But I can do this. When it was just about time to leave to pick Kade up from school, I came downstairs to find Kaya half undressed, watching TV. Ugh. We were only 5 minutes late to the doctor.
Deep breath. We can do this. Except that while trying to get the kitchen cleaned up so I can cook dinner, the drain in the sink backs up. This never happens. There is now a plunger in my sink.
On to dinner. Breakfast for dinner is a treat, so on the menu was a breakfast casserole & homemade blueberry muffins. I was feeling pretty happy with myself for not getting the cheap muffin mix.
Somehow, I managed to burn those suckers but good. Should have just gotten the cheapy muffin mix.
And this? I am pretty confident no one would find the view of my laundry room entertaining. Well, the random Santa hat in the mix might bring a snicker. Oh, & this is nothing. I'm guessing there's another 3 loads on the floor in the kids' bathroom, & there's 5 loads waiting to be folded in my bedroom. No pictures of that. I do have some personal pride.
And for the finale, we have the garage sale. I've been out there since putting Kendi to bed, freezing my bumpkin off, only to find that the pricing stickers will not stick b/c it's too cold. Of course, it is the middle of November. That must be why there aren't many other garage sale ads competing with mine. Note to self: All those folks that had garage sales in the summer were onto something.
So, what do you think? TV worthy? I didn't think so. I'm just hoping for a better episode tomorrow. And lots of people who like being able to see their breath while they are looking for a bargain. And something hot containing caffeine. The end.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Now that we had gone back to babyhood, we were thoroughly enjoying it. So, we got in touch with an agency about adopting an infant transracially. I filled out the paperwork. But then it sat. Finally, Joe asked me what was up b/c this chick does not leave paperwork just sit. I remember something didn't feel right. I was carrying out my plan, but was it God's plan? We knew that we were to adopt again, but were we headed in the right direction?
I believe one of the first things I began learning with this adoption was how to listen. It's so easy to get going full steam ahead & forget who is supposed to be steering. Finally, I did that dreaded surrender thing...lol. And prayed.a.lot. God has definitely taken His time answering prayers along the way, but in this instance, I think He was waiting for me to ask, & didn't hesitate to answer (I sort of see Him going, "Finally...."). Within a few days, we were staring at a picture of K'Tyo on our computer screen. I remember Joe saying, "Can we actually get to him?" Some of our experiences had shown us that just because a child was on a photolisting didn't mean that you were going to be able to pursue them as your child. And, really? This was an international adoption situation. We didn't think we would EVER do anything internationally (do you see a pattern forming?). I mean, where do you begin with the paperwork? And the finances. Then there's travel. And the finances. There's little background information on this child. And the finances.
Was this "easy"? I don't know if that's the right word, but it was as if we were just being "swept" along...one thing led to another & then to another. We just kept getting affirmations that we were doing what we were supposed to, & everything kept falling into place, including the finances. There were definitely some emotional moments, but anything involving the heart is emotional. From beginning (we had NOTHING done for an international adoption) to K'Tyo coming home was slightly less than 7 months...crazy!
I learned much about the heart of God during this adoption. First, I became very aware of life outside my "comfort zone". God does not have the same dividing lines for this earth that we create. Ever heard, "We need to take care of 'our own'"? No. God calls us to love one another. Period. He doesn't say love those that look like you & live in your country. He says love one another....here, there, everywhere.
I also became very aware that God really does have the best for me, even when there were times it didn't seem like it. As we were waiting for a court date, there was a group of families that were all due together. Post after post starting coming in from these families on our yahoo group about receiving a court date, but I had heard nothing. When I saw a call coming in from our coordinator, I thought certainly it was about us having a court date, too. Instead, she was calling very apologetic b/c for some reason, our paperwork had been left behind. I was sad, but at least knew our paperwork was ok & should be in the next round of court dates. When I got the call about our court date, I cried...it was scheduled for my birthday. I thought that was just the best present ever! And then we didn't pass court. I'm not gonna lie...I was crushed. I felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. It was my birthday, for goodness sake! It wasn't until a few weeks later when we would have been traveling that I realized God gave me the best present ever by NOT letting us pass court on my birthday. We would have been stuck in Europe in the midst of the ash cloud chaos. I know it was not an easy situation for anyone involved, but for us, it would have been devastating. Financially, we could not have handled being stuck out of country, but even more important, Joe would have been beside himself with worry b/c he stayed behind while Kameryn & I went. God was in the details, & I became very aware that my perspective is not His.
As I mentioned with Kaya, I learned much about finding strength & courage in the Lord. This journey brought to life, "With God, all things are possible." We learned about stepping outside the box of conformity to follow God's will for our family. We learned about stepping out of the boat to follow Him, even if that meant traveling over 8000 miles across the ocean to bring home a son. We have come to the realization that God desires for us to live our lives following Him...it's an adventure, & all we have to do is say "yes". Is it easy? No. Scary? Sometimes. Glamorous? No. Worth the blood, sweat, & tears? You better believe it!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
**So, in honor of November being Adoption/Orphan Awareness Month, I was going to do "a" (singular) post about my testimony, but quickly realized THAT would be looooong, so I'm breaking it down into four parts. You're welcome.**
And more that it's not about me....my life is not my own.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
& likes to do whatever he's doing.
Whatever the reason, K'Tyo played football, but to his dismay, it was "only" flag. I get the feeling this may be another way he's like his brother in that he will be counting the days until he gets to play tackle.
Of course, Mom waited until the last game of the season to remember the camera, & it was flippin' cold! Ah, well, the hat & long socks add a fashionable statement. :o) He'll love me for it someday.