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I am so happy being married and living with my best friend. We adopted our first child, Ari, in 2011 through a domestic adoption and our second, Jude, in 2014.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thankful for the Struggle

A few weeks ago I made a quick statement about the difficulties of adoption on Twitter, but decided it was probably something I could write a whole blog post on, so I am!

Infertility and adoption are both very difficult things to go through. Neither one are for the faint of heart. They require mental strength, willpower, determination, and a whole lot of patience. It can be so frustrating to try and pursue something when you have no idea what exactly you are pursuing or when/how it will come about.

Now, I'm not saying I'm good at any of these things. I'm probably one of the most impatient people to go through the adoption process. But yet, God has lead me to adoption and I believe with all of my heart that this is where He wants me to be.

That means that God believes me, the hubs, and our marriage are all strong enough to endure these things. I may not be excellent at it, but I am doing it because of the faith that He has in me. What an incredibly humbling experience.

When I was in middle school, I remember watching a biography video on Rich Mullins. One thing that stood out to me was when they talked about how his nephew was born with a birth defect. His sister, naturally, went through the "Why me?" stage, but Rich's response was so amazing to me. He simply told her that God thought so much of her, that He gave her a baby that would need the extra amount of love He knew she could provide. That idea has always stuck with me.

What may seem to be a tragedy or difficult struggle to us, may really be a compliment from God. He is so proud of His children and I believe He wants to show us off. He wants others to know what we're capable of and what we can do through Him.

May God's name be praised through our blessing and compliment of infertility and adoption.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Song

"Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)" Chris Rice

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we fall...so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Patience is a Virtue

You know how people say, "Be careful what you ask God for. He just might give it to you!"? For example: If you pray for patience, He's not going to give you patience. He's going to give you opportunities to be patient.

Well, I feel like that's how my life is right now. But let's be honest, I'm ready for a baby, so I have not been praying for patience in that area! So, whoever it is out there that thinks I need more patience, knock it off! Just kidding, just kidding.

But really, the waiting is killing me. Without warning, the infertility blues have snuck back into my life and they are holding on tight to my heart. I think all the busyness of needing to get so much adoption paperwork done was a great distraction for me.

But now, that's over. There's no paperwork left to do. (Granted, we do still need about $21,000 for our fees, so that should keep me plenty busy!) We are now just waiting. And waiting. And waiting. We are waiting on someone to look at our profile and think we look "nice".

Everyone keeps telling me that our baby is "just around the corner". But I don't feel that way. At all. I feel like we're in for a much longer wait than anyone thought.

I know the wait shouldn't matter, because we are waiting on the perfect baby that God has planned for us. I know that. I don't doubt that for a second. But the wait is still so hard. I've been trying to become a mommy for three years now. I just want to be one already.

But I will continue to wait. I will wait on the Lord and His perfect timing. I will try and be thankful for that crazy person out there praying for me to have more patience. And I will continue to dream about and pray for my baby every day until they're in my arms.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Puzzle Update - Week 10

In Week 9 we sold 12 puzzle pieces! Some weeks are naturally a lot lower than others, so it was exciting to see that we sold 12 pieces two weeks in a row. Especially since it came at a time when I've been really stressing about the amount we still need (approx. $21,000). God is good and reminds me time and time again that He is in control and He will provide for us.

So this week we were able to finish another heart square. Yay! And we even got one piece onto the next square. We have now put together a total of 231 puzzle pieces. Only 776 left to go!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Anniversary Getaway

Last weekend the hubs and I celebrated our anniversary with a little 24-hour getaway. There's a place in Drumright called Tidal Schools Vineyards that I've always wanted to go to, so that was our end destination. We did, however, make some other stops along that way that made for a very interesting little trip!

We went to the vineyard on Saturday, but (for some reason) I decided we should stay the night in town on Friday. Not my greatest idea. The best place to stay used to be an old hospital, but was "converted" into a motel. As you will see, they didn't change much...

Drumright Inn & Lodge

We were in the room in the middle, 130. Yeah, now you're getting the creepy hospital feeling, huh?

There was a little hallway when you walked into the room. The first opening on the right is a random kitchen and the second opening is the bathroom. Then straight ahead is the bedroom.

Hellooo hospital room!

I'm pretty sure we stayed in the room where they kept the crazy people because there was this little safe/unsafe dial on the wall. Which also had a creepy window next to it. Thankfully, the other side of the window was a closet for the room. But still, pretty creepy!

An overview of the room. You can see the weird window on the wall. We put something in it to try and make it just a little bit less creepy.

The hubs later found this in the hallway portion of our room. So we're just gonna go ahead and tell ourselves that maybe we stayed in the labor and delivery area...

We eventually fell asleep in the loony bin and checked out early the next morning! We then headed out to Stroud to have breakfast at one of our favorite places, Rock Cafe. It's a Route 66 classic. In fact, Sally from the Disney movie "Cars" is based off of the owner and cook at this restaurant.

The hubs added our initials to the bathroom wall. Hopefully it won't be another three years before we get to go again.

After breakfast, we spent some time just wandering around...doing a little geocaching and finding random Route 66 fun (we're kinda Route 66 junkies).

The Shoe Tree! Which is exactly what it sounds like. A tree where people toss their old pairs of shoes.  We brought one along to join in the fun!

Us in front of the Shoe Tree. There used to be a lot more pairs, but the original one fell down. So this is the second shoe tree started on that road.

Geocaching out in the middle of nowhere.

The middle of nowhere was really pretty!

After our afternoon adventures, we finally made it to the winery! It was a lot of fun. We had a tour of the facility, free wine tasting, lunch while a jazz band played, and then just relaxed on the patio and around the vineyard.

Despite all the craziness we encountered, it really was such a fun time with the hubs. And really, the random craziness is what made it so fun and adventurous. I love my time spent with him and am so happy we've been married for three wonderful years!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

© Jenny White Photography
Happy Father's Day to my wonderful dad! He is such a great guy that so many people love. I've been so blessed to have him as my father.

A friend of mine once told me that if she ever has to have bad news delivered to her, she wants my dad to be the person to do it. Simply because he has such a calm, easy approach to things. That's just the kind of man that he is.

And it's true, he really is good at delivering bad news! He does our taxes every year and knew this year we were really counting on a big refund, so we could put it towards our adoption fund. Well, he ended up having to tell us that we were actually going to owe $800-$900. Ouch! But he delivered the news so kindly. You could tell he was just as sad about it as we were.

He is such a great and Godly man. He's always been there for his kids and I know he always will be. Again, I am so blessed to be able to call him my father. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Home Study - ☑ Done!

I usually update our puzzle on Thursday's, but we didn't sell any pieces for Week 10, so this will just be an adoption update.

Yesterday we had our official home study with the adoption agency's social worker. Besides the fear of a birthmother changing her mind after birth, the home study is probably the most nerve racking part of adoption. But as most things go, the stressful anticipation was worse than the actual home study itself.

Our home study only lasted an hour. With everything I've throughly researched (aka, Googled) about home studies, I was under the impression that we would be interviewed together and separately. But she simply asked us a few basic questions together.

She asked us our parents and siblings names, occupations, where they live, etc. She asked us to describe each other's personalities, what our hobbies are, etc. Then she asked really random questions such as how we divide up household chores, what our strengths and weaknesses are in our marriage, and how we resolve fights. Although there were some weird questions, everything was surprisingly easy to answer and went over very smoothly.

After the Q&A was over, she asked for us to give her a tour of our home. That lasted about, oh, two minutes. Which made me feel pretty silly about getting up at 5:00am that morning to finish all the tiny details of cleaning. There was definitely no white glove inspection.

After the tour we sat and chit-chatted for about five minutes and then she left. Easy peasy!

We are now what the adoption community calls "Paper Pregnant". This means that all of our paperwork is done and we're just waiting for a match. I selfishly hope that we don't have too long of a wait, but I know that God's timing is perfect. I can't wait to see what He has in store for us!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Adoptions Costs
*Application fee - $500
*Postage for mailing application - $4.95
*Profile photobooks - $108.92
*Fingerprint cards - $20
*Copay for physicals - $25
*Postage for mailing paperwork - $1.28
*Postage for mailing paperwork - $1.08
*Home study - $1,000
Running Total - $1,661.23

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

3 Years Strong

Photo Credit: Jenny White Photography
3 years ago today I married my best friend. I know everyone says that and I don't want to sound cliched or cheesy, but it's just so true. The hubs is my absolute best friend. He is the one I want to talk to when I'm happy, sad, frustrated, or mad. He is the one I want to share my most exciting and most boring moments with. He is the one that I want to say goodnight to every evening.

Infertility has already put us through so many trials in our short marriage. This is probably a strong reason why infertility often dissolves marriages. But our marriage is stronger because of it and I believe that has a lot to do with him.

We do have some fun things planned for this weekend, but this evening will be a little more low-key. It will be spent focusing on preparing for our adoption homestudy tomorrow. And really, I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing with him tonight. I believe it's a great representation of the support he's been with our past of infertility and the optimistic encouragement he's been with our future of adoption. I am so blessed to walk through life hand-in-hand with this man.

And now for a quick trip down photo memory lane... I can't help myself!

Our very first picture together when we met.

The proposal!

In shock.

One of my favorite wedding pictures. (Photo Credit: Jenny White Photography)

Photo Credit: Jenny White Photography

We're home owners! And yes, we did move during an insane snow storm.

Probably my favorite picture I have of us.

There's not a day that goes where he doesn't make me laugh.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Puzzle Update & Adoption Update

Okay, I got slightly behind on blogging last week, so this will be a puzzle update and a small adoption update.

Last week, for Week 9, we sold 12 puzzle pieces! That makes for 219 pieces put together total. We were able to finish our second heart square and are now onto the third one. Only 788 pieces to go!

Now, as for a small adoption update... A few weeks ago I told you there was birthmom looking at our profile who was due with a boy on July 2nd. Well, it looks like that situation isn't going to pan out. The email I got from our adoption agency said that "she wants to try to parent the child." The agency worker was very sweet and encouraged us to stay positive. She said they have many other options around the corner. She ended the email by saying, "Your baby is coming!"

I believe her. And I also believe that God has our child chosen already. But I also know I don't wanna have to go through these back-and-forth feelings over and over again. That could get emotionally tiring very quickly. Blech. But I will just pray and hope for the best, knowing that God has this all mapped out perfectly.

And for another quick update, we have our official homestudy this Wednesday. Eek! I'm definitely super nervous. This is where the social worker with our agency comes over to our home to make sure it's safe, clean, family-sufficient, etc. She will also extensively interview the hubs and I together and seperately. The whole process will probably last 3-4 hours. It's slightly nerve-racking, to say the least.

But once that is done, all of our legal paperwork will be completed. At that point we will be what the adoption community calls "Paper Pregnant". We will just be sitting back and waiting for a match. I can't wait!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Song

"The Power of Your Name" Lincoln Brewster

Surely children weren't made for the streets
And fathers were not made to leave
Surely this isn't how it should be
Let Your kingdom come

Surely nations were not made for war
Or the broken meant to be ignored
Surely this just can't be what You saw
Let Your Kingdom come here in my heart

And I will live to carry Your compassion, to love a world that's broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give with the life that I've been given
And go beyond religion to see the world be changed

By the power of Your name
The power of Your name

Surely life wasn't made to regret
And the lost were not made to forget
Surely faith without action is dead
Let Your kingdom come, Lord, break this heart

And I will live to carry Your compassion, to love a world that's broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give with the life that I've been given
And go beyond religion to see the world be changed

By the power of Your name
The power of Your name

Jesus, Your name is a shelter for the hurting
Your name is a refuge for the weak
Only Your name can redeem the undeserving
Jesus, Your name hold everything I need

And I will live to carry Your compassion, to love a world that's broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give with the life that I've been given
And go beyond religion to see the world be changed

By the power of Your name

And I will love to carry Your compassion, to love a world that's broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give with the life that I've been given
And go beyond religion to see the world be changed

By the power of Your name
The power of Your name
(The power of Your name)
The power of Your name
The power of Your name
The power of Your name
(Jesus, Jesus, the power of Your name)
The power of Your name
(Jesus, Jesus, the power of Your name)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Song

"In Christ Alone"

In Christ alone, my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace;
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease;
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
'Til on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid,
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay.
Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious Day,
Up from the grave He rose again.
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
'Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Puzzle Update - Week 8

In Week 8 we sold 6 puzzle pieces! That makes for 207 pieces put together total. We're almost done with another little heart picture. This one is of a heart shaped plant in a flower pot. Only 800 pieces to go!