One Sleep ’til Christmas!

That’s right! Knowing the you are one sleep away from going to pick up your long-awaited baby has got to be the closest thing an adult will ever get to remembering what it felt like to be a little kid on Christmas Eve. I’m too excited to sleep!! And I really should sleep while I can.

I’ve folded the blankets my mom made for B tonight, wishing so hard that she were here to make one for her newest grandson.

I’ve completely rearranged the nursery. 🙂

And we had THE toast. Husband and I have carried a bottle of sparkling cider around in our fridge for over 5 years that we bought one day at IKEA, back in 2009. We had thought we were pregnant, or that we were about to be, or something, and we had planned to pop it open to celebrate. Well, when we found out we weren’t, we stubbornly decided to save that bottle, month after month-to celebrate with on that day we would find out we were “with child”. There were days in these past 5 years that I looked at that bottle and wanted to smash it against the wall. But tonight we decided to celebrate our “pregnancy” by cracking it open. And tomorrow…Christmas.

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He’s Ours!

It has taken me a full month to put this in writing here, but in my defense, it has been a whirlwind of a month if there has even been one!
Almost a month ago, I was having a perfectly normal fall day at the play place of the mall with a friend and her girls. I was holding her sleeping baby when our social worker called to tell us that they had baby for us. I was so stunned, I couldn’t remember how I was supposed to behave. Honestly, we’ve waited a very long time, and there was a part of me that had rejected the idea that this moment might ever come. I had given away all of our baby stuff, repurposed the nursery, and moved on with life as if nothing was ever going to happened (which, personally, I needed to do for my emotional sanity).

The social worker told us Baby’s situation. He was in NICU at a local hospital, and because of some fairly serious health issues that we aren’t taking public, it was looking like he could remain in the hospital for up to 3 months. This was disheartening. It was a Friday, so she told us to take the weekend to think, pray, research, and decide if this was going to be the right fit for us. Husband and I found ourselves a little overwhelmed with the circumstances, and tried to gather whatever information we could on his situation. During the conversation with the pediatitrician though, I had what was one of the only times in my life when I feel like I have really heard God speak to me, clearly, audibly. Not like, a voice from the clouds or anything. Just a real whisper to my heart that was unquestionable. And He said to me the same thing that He spoke when I was praying about whether or not to pursue adoption many years before. “Trust me. Do you trust me?” It so overwhelmed the conversation between the doctor and I, that I could no longer hear what she was trying to say and I began to cry. I told her that I knew everything at that point that I needed to know. She actually laughed and told me that she believed I did too. In spite of our baby fighting difficult circumstances, so many other parts of his story were just so…perfectly placed. There are many details of his story and life so far that are just as we had hoped and prayed for, but never actually dreamed would all come together. Needless to say, we couldn’t wait until that Monday morning. Sunday night, I emailed our social worker, telling her that we absolutely wanted to adopt this baby, and how soon could we see him?!

As so began the longest week of our lives. Well. As of late.
We are no strangers to waiting. But when someone tells you that you now have a son, and it is only a matter of paperwork in order to meet him, you need to GET THE PAPERWORK DONE. God’s timing is perfect, though. This week in October was the week leading up to the 1st anniversary of my mother’s passing. Every day, I was remembering what we were doing that day, one year before as we waited for her to die. I had been dreading this week all year long. It was also leading up to our 1st son’s birthday. As we crept toward the end of the week, I realized that all of these events were going to collide, and that I would forever have them all in my memory, jumbled up together. B’s birthday, remembering the death of my mother, and meeting our new baby for the very first time. Wow. It was getting downright difficult to be sad about my mom, with all of these happy tears. Almost like it was on purpose.

That first meeting with our baby was pretty amazing. But we did leave in shock. It was a lot of information, trying to process what was going to happen with his health, what we might have to expect later, and trying to figure out how to plan. Plan…haha! Husband came out and said it, “I’m scared. This is scary.” It was scary. The prospect of being NICU parents, possibly having a sick baby, or maybe one with special needs, or just not knowing what to expect, it was all kind of scary. But, I inhaled, and I went back to what we knew. God had already steadied us. He had asked me to trust him, and I did. And I KNOW that when God calls you to walk into something, he will walk before you. “Some confirmation is nice, though, God,” I thought. I had thought it many times that day. I don’t know what I was expecting. Sky-writing?! But the next morning, when we woke up, my friend, Lis, send me this: “Do not be afraid or discouraged…for the battle is not yours, but God’s” 2 Chronicles 20:15. I showed it to Husband and we both beamed. Of COURSE! What are we so scared of? All we have to do is our job, and God will do His.

And boy, has God done it!

Our boy will not need 3 months in the hospital. It is looking like he will be released early next week. This is just nothing short of miraculous.

The house, the baby, the miraculous healing. It’s all too much. A friend saw me the other day and made raining motions with her hands and said, “The blessings are just raining down on you! How are you not skipping everywhere!” And I am pretty darn happy. But, let’s not forget the clouds that formed, for years, lest I become proud. Just look back in this blog. I’ll come out and say that the last 3 years or so have been downright miserable. We started trying to conceive 6 years ago and gave that up to pursue adoption about 3 years ago. There were a lot of times that I had to bite my tongue when even my dearest friends would announce their pregnancies. I know, it’s horrible. Part of me was genuinely happy, but that green-eyed monster, he can be horrible. I was convinced that everyone but me could get pregnant if her man just caught a good-enough sneezing attack!! I have asked God, many times, if it is truly necessary for me to endure SO MUCH pain to become the woman, mother, wife that he needs me to be? Clearly, the answer was yes. But, I was never forgotten. In fact, those years of emotional and physical pain have caused me to become so weak on my own that I have had no choice but to lean way into to the strength of my Heavenly Father. I drew my strength from Him all that time and now I know him intimately, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Anything. He is so faithful and He always does what He says He’ll do. Does life still suck sometimes? Yup. But that heavenly perspective, it is life-changing.

God had a LOT of work to do on my heart, way back then, years ago, to move me into the world of adoption. I was so worried that I couldn’t love the same. Silly, silly me. I laugh now, because the love is out of this world. It welled up in me when I held him and he was immediately my son. What an amazing, beautiful, incredible thing adoption is. To think that there was a time I mourned my fertility. If only I had known, then, the gift that I was being handed. The nurse, misguidedly (but with good intentions), said to us recently, “Thank you so much for being his parents.” No. He is the gift. He is wanted. We are the ones who are unspeakably grateful for this gift from God. We are the one’s saying Thank you. Thank you God, for our baby boy.

Unpacking Thoughts

Some thoughts: 1. I enjoy unpacking much more than packing. It is so rewarding! 2. A neighbor came to meet us while my husband was flying the “Come and Take it” flag in our new front yard. He didn’t mention it and I had forgotten it was up. I guess we’ll just always be “that” family. Wait till they see our red carpet! 3. My big boy is so nervous about starting a new school tomorrow and I want to take it from him! It is so hard to watch your kid go through this stuff. He’s had a lot of change in the last few months, though, and he has been an absolute champ. I can’t wait to see him rock being the new kid.

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Timehop

Timehop is walking me through each day, leading up to the one-year anniversary of my mother’s death. I was so very committed to keeping everyone up to date, therefore so many small details are captured in this journey. Part of me hates it and part of me loves it. But, it is growing significantly more difficult to watch as the day (2 days away) approaches. It’s like watching a movie that you’ve seen before, but hoping that this time it will end differently. You see the characters walking towards their fate and you’re going, “No!! Don’t do that!! She’ll die!” It’s growing more horrible. Today is the day that, exactly one year ago, a doctor did the procedure on my mother that ended up killing her. I wrote on Facebook, “They just called us back to look at her insides during her procedure, LIVE. Well, I can never unsee that.”

What I want to yell at my one-year-ago-self is: “Stop them! They are screwing up at this exact moment!!” this isn’t a movie, and this isn’t happening right now. This is a year ago. And God had not forgotten us. Thankfully, He still hasn’t.

It was an honest mistake. One that was fixable for most people. But we couldn’t fix it with Mom. There were too many complications. So, two days later, we said goodbye.

A spoonful of …Apple Cider Vinegar

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I’m curious to see if anyone else has tried drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for it’s health benefits. I got it a while back to try to fight off a sore throat so that I could sing in a wedding (Emily, this is how you know I love you :)) & it was & still is HORRIBLE. But it worked. I gargled it for my throat and drank some, diluted, to stave off the cold. I have no idea if it helped the cold, but it really helped my voice. I also noticed that my normal daily headache was significantly less painful that day, and the next day that I drank it (you MUST drink it diluted in water & it’s still HORRIBLE). I prayed that it was a coincidence (I want a headache solution, but this should tell you how bad it tastes), and moved on with my life.

I recently decided to tough it out though, and try a little 7 day experiment, to see if it actually does help with my headache. I’m on day 5 and dangit, I think it IS helping some! There must be a better way. Surely this comes in pill form, or something! Oh dear Lord, it is so very very bad! And, it is smelling up my whole kitchen!!

I’ve read that one of the primary benefits of ACV is that is messes with the breakdown of starches and sugars, therefore lowering blood sugar. Since sugar is a real headache trigger, I just wonder if it’s actually doing something. I also wonder if it’s going to eat up the lining of my stomach and teeth in the process. (This is not a medical blog. Do not mistake this for professional information :))

I mean it’s also supposed to help you lose weight, fight cancer, and aid in world peace, so who knows? Does anyone know?

Home sweet HOME

Anyone remember the home we fell in love with, before we even sold our house back in May? Or April? We weren’t able to buy it then and we were SO sad. We watched it sit on the market all this time while we house hunted (that’s where I’ve been this whole time), comparing every house to the one we really wanted. We have asked God for this home, but we had no idea that all this time, through all our frustration and tears and all of these other “no’s”, all of our gut feelings telling us “don’t buy this or that one” (even though many other houses seemed so perfect!), He was preparing what we had asked Him for all along!

Through a string of events that are too detailed to go into here, circumstances have changed, and we are now free to buy our dream house, the one we have watched and wanted all along! It came back to us! They accepted our offer today. It is difficult to put our excitement into words. 🙂

So, no more words. Just our future backyard view:

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Update: When I posted this, I saw that sad, whiny blog that I had written…about losing THIS house! I had completely forgotten! Haaa! God is so funny sometimes! Thank you God for all that you have taught me during this wait! I am SO glad that, because I KNEW you were faithful, God, I didn’t plow forward on my own (even though I’ll admit I threw a couple sad little fits)! We were so confident when we sold our house that God had a particular plan for us, and I am so grateful we didn’t put a time limit on that. So, so cool.

Homeless

I’m being dramatic. We aren’t living on the streets. We’re just without a house. We sold ours because we were stepping out in faith. We really felt like it was time to make the move and look for that dream home that we would fix up and make ours. There are so many reasons that it was time to leave our home, too many to list. We still hadn’t found a new home when our house sold (quickly!) back in April, so a friend let us rent out the space in her basement to save the cash we would’ve lost on month to month apartment living. The cramped lifestyle is a sacrifice, but we keep telling ourselves that “we are saving all of this money!” The first few weeks, I pretended we were camping, but that glitter has already worn off. Thank goodness for incredible housemates, upstairs, though!!
The notion that it was all temporary has helped. Our dream home has been in our sights for a couple of very exciting weeks now. A friend put us in touch with a woman needing to sell her father’s house and, long story short: it was perfect. Everything we’ve been looking for, hoping for, praying for in a home. And it needed enough work that we felt pretty sure that it would still be affordable for us, too. We’ve waited weeks to get an appraisal and a firm price on it, and we just found out today that it appraised way out of our price range. We are devastated. I know I shouldn’t have stopped looking for homes. I know I shouldn’t have assumed. I know I shouldn’t have pictured my entire life inside this one house before I owned it, but I did, and now I am so sad.
So, now I’ll put on my big girl panties and pray that God has something else for us and trust that surely HE knows that my baby needs a home in which to start school. He knows. He knows.

Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”