Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful

At the start of the year I decided to record my blessings, viewing everything good as a gift from The Lord and thanking Him for my gifts. I was inspired by a book I read last year, 1000 Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. I've tried keeping a written journal of my gifts and I'm taking pictures along the way via Instagram, but the journal has proven to be too much to keep up with, but i am more aware of my blessings, even the smaller, seemingly mundane ones. Instagram is a great record keeper for when i do stop in a small awe and decided to capture the moment, the gift. I want to share some of my gifts on my blog. Below is what I have so far..
















Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Adoption Progress Update

We have been on this journey for 20 months now! And what a journey it has been. Right after Christmas I felt ready to explore fostering to adopt, along with still being on the straight adoption waiting list. The difference between straight adoption, fostering to adopt, and fostering is this: straight adoption is adopting a child who is already legally free for adoption, fostering to adopt is caring for a child who is not yet legally free for adoption, but their parents are in the process of losing their parental rights and once TPR (termination of parental rights) goes through you are then able to legally adopt the child you have been caring for, and fostering is taking care of a child whose plan is to eventually go back home, unless their family goes through TPR. We have talked with several people who think this is a good option for us, and after sitting down and having a conversation with Heartfelt Calling back in October, I feel really good about this decision. I called the foster agency the first week of January (2013) and our foster agent came by our house for an interview and a few sheets of paperwork on the 8th. I just LOVE our foster agent, not to say our adoption specialist isn't great, but I feel like I have to reintroduce myself to her anytime I see or call her, but our foster agent is so personable, and I just love that! On our first phone conversation she gave me her cell number and told me to text her anytime...and you know what, I have and she always response right away and she's just so sweet. I can't tell you how much her care and friendliness means to me, especially after 20 months of waiting and feeling like another file to my adoption agency. Since we are already an approved pre-adoption home the only thing we had to do was sign a few forms, get re-finger printed, and have another SLED check done. Our finger prints came back right away, but our SLED check took 4 weeks. Also once a year until our adoption is finalized a fire inspector from the fire department has to come out to our home for an inspection. Last year when he came (back when I believed for some reason this process would be quick) he gave us a slip of approval, and left saying, "ok everything looks great, I will see you next year". I laughed to myself thinking, haha no need, I'll surely have a kid by then....but I guess the joke was on me lol. The same fire inspector came out again yesterday with my foster agent. I love that he remembered me! My agent told me that my paperwork should be sent off to Columbia this week, and she held up her fingers as if to show me an inch and said you are this close to getting a placement...eeeek! Last month she also told me to expect a placement by February!!!! Could we really be this close?!?!?

Oh it's been a looooong journey, but I know that it is going to be sooooo worth it. Though the wait has been long, I truly feel like God has been shaping, training, and preparing us in this time and I believe that even though I have felt so impatient, that one day I may look back on this time and be grateful for this time of preparation. It's funny, it seems that when we first started our journey we were surrounded by adoption stories, honestly it was like everyday we ran into someone with a story to tell and we loved it! And now here recently again we are surrounded by more adoption stories, mixed in with a few foster stories as well. Even one of my favorite TV shows, Parenthood had an adoption story to tell, and one that would most resemble our future! And it also just so happens that this month is Foster/Adoption month at a our church, I couldn't believe it! And this past Monday night our church hosted a ladies event, "This Night" where the topic was Foster Care and Adoption. I also think that it's funny that last year our fire inspector came out the day of a "This Night", and this year he came out the day after one.

I have been using my time of waiting prepping, cleaning, and organizing my home like crazy, adoption nesting I guess lol. Also, I have 4 large containers filled with clothes of different sizes waiting for our child. I have an empty made up bed waiting on him, an empty dresser, and toys galore. I have crocheted two blankets for him and I'm currently working on a third. I've been keeping frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets, along with cookie dough in the house, in case those might be his favorite foods, then I'll just have them ready, and if it turns out that he likes something else, you better know that I'll run out to go get it.

I am just so ready, waiting, and praying for our child.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Krispy Kreme, Chruch, a Gun Show, the Circus, and a Super Bowl!

We had the most eventful day Sunday, I don't think we've ever had a day so jam packed, but it sure was fun! We started our morning out by going to Krispy Kreme for breakfast, Skylar had a coupon from a birthday party at school this past week, and it felt special getting up and going to a restaurant for breakfast, something we never do. The hot and now sign was on and the kids got to look through their viewing glass wall to watch how the donuts are made and glazed, YUM! Then we headed next door to NewSprings church, we were just visiting away from our home church because of our busy day, oh, and the Gun Show was in the same building lol. Mitch has been wanting to go to this gun show for weeks, and he got the kids all excited about the event too, though I believe they were convinced that they were going to get to shoot a gun (nope, sorry, just shopping). The kids had a great time exploring and looking, and making a wish list of hats, pocket knifes, compasses, and cricket guns lol. Of course right before we left I lost my son!! This show room is huge, crowded, and you could walk around this place for hours without bumping into the same person twice. He was right beside me the whole time, then in just a moment he was gone, he disappeared from me! I looked around me, I didn't panic at first when I asked Mitch if he could see Maddox and he said no. We looked around and around, and around, but I could not find him! We decided that I would stay where we were continuing to look for him while Mitch took Skylar and they went out further searching for him. As seconds ticked on, they felt like minutes, which felt like an eternity, especially to have a young child missing. I approached a man with a tag on, asking him to help me find my son, I gave him a description and he lead me to a table where men would make an announcement for Maddox to come up front, once the announcement was made I just knew that Maddox wouldn't be able to hear or understand the intercom (which he didn't). Police showed up, and asked for a description, and in my panic I could not remember the shirt he was wearing! What is wrong with me! Time and details are precious and I cannot remember the shirt that I put on my son that morning! I could tell them just how tall he was, hair color, haircut, that he had blue jeans on, but I couldn't remember the shirt! Police were looking for him, Mitch was looking for him, men working their gun show tables were up looking for him, some random old lady was looking for him, and a million different horrible scenarios were running through my mind, but the most realist one was that he was probably in the middle of this big 'ole room scared to death looking for me! I started to shake, cry, and pray to Jesus, thinking to myself, how could I be so stupid for losing my son. Finally, the original man that I went to, to ask for help walked up with my son. I believe only a total of 10 minutes passed since I first realized he was missing to the moment I had him back in my arms. I thanked Jesus, that man, and the police, I was so thankful he was found, and you know what??? Not only was Maddox not scared, I'm pretty sure he didn't even realize that he was lost! The man who found him said that he was just wondering and looking around, too distracted by all the cool guns I guess. I told him that he gave me a thousand heart attacks and for him to never leave my side again! I swear it took forever for my nerves to settle down, I still shudder thinking about it. Drama and panic aside, it was now time to go to the circus (as if we didn't already have enough excitement!).
The circus was a ton of fun! and I hope these memories stick with the kids :)



After the circus we went to Zone Wings to chow down on pizza and wings and watch the first half of the Super Bowl on probably about 20 tvs surrounding us. The places wasn't even crowded, so it was an enjoyable time :)

Our day was busy, our day was fun, and filled with blessings!

Secret Keeper Girl

I heard an ad on the radio promoting a Secret Keeper Girl pajama party. I've never heard of a Secret Keeper Girl or of any of their events, but the radio ad talked about a fun night with moms and daughters and this conference is to support modesty in girls, deepen their relationship with God and the girls relationship with their mothers. It sounded like fun! That night I got online and found out the closest event was in Asheville and in just 2 days! I bought tickets right away and didn't tell Skylar about the event until we were in the car, in our pjs, and on our way to NC.




We had a blast! I am so glad I took her and for the experience that we shared. I am so proud of my little girl, who is now a self proclaimed Secret Keeper Girl. I believe her favorite part about the event was the story they told about a King, a prince, and a maiden girl, and how the prince left his kingdom and all his riches for the pursuit of a maiden girl. The King represented God, the prince is Jesus and the maiden girl is her, and me. The women speakers really drove it home and spoke into these girls letting them know that they are truly and madly and deeply loved by Jesus and that because they are a daughter of a true King, God, that they are true real life princesses. That night we prayed together, danced together, partied together, and the gates were opened for conversations about God, and her daddy, and our relationship, and modesty, and friendships.





While there I bought a book for us, 8 Great Dates for Moms & Daughters. We can't wait to get started.


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