Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Big Brother

We have tried to prepare Dakota for being a big brother. Sometimes, I think he gets it. Other times, not so much. I'm trying (at advice of others) to make sure he does not feel "left out." He hears us talk about the adoption, baby, and his brother/sister quiet often though. I don't want him to worry about what life will be like after the baby gets here. I don't want him to think we will love him less because there's a new baby around. I want him to "get it" but he's just 4.
Our church believes in praying on our knees. When we have prayer at church, everyone will get on their knees and pray together. One night a few months ago, Dakota and I were kneeling down at church. I told him to not forget to pray for his brother-sister. This is what I hear:
Lord, please send me a brother-sister. Please send the right one. We'll take good care of it.

Now, you can imagine what this did to my heart. It almost makes me cry just typing it. Maybe he does get it. Maybe he understands it ALL. What better prayer could be prayed? We do want the "right" one - the baby that is meant to be in our little family, that will flourish with us, and that's meant for us. Sometimes we get greedy and want things to happen NOW. I want my baby NOW. I want my family to be complete NOW. But this isn't really about what I want. This is about His plan. We want the right one at the right time and only He knows that.

If you could tell from the picture of the nursery, I am decorating with giraffes. There's not some poetic meaning behind it. I just like giraffes and thought they would go well with that color (Tinkerbell green). I had found a Melissa & Doug stuffed giraffe that was about 5' tall and I loved it - it would be the perfect addition to the nursery. The only issue is that it was VERY expensive. I could NOT make myself pay that much. This week, Amazon offered a deal on that very giraffe for about 46% off plus free shipping. I decided to go for it because I figured I would regret it later if I didn't. No where was selling it that cheap and even if they did, would definitely not offer free shipping with it.
When I got to Mom's that night, I told Dakota about buying the giraffe for the baby's room. I said a little bit about maybe it could be the baby's Christmas present because I didn't want him to feel bad for the baby's room getting a new addition. A little while later, he walked into the kitchen with a little giraffe toy and said, "This is for the baby's room." Then, a few minutes later, he had a tiny little stuffed giraffe that he also wanted to take home for the baby's room. When we got home, he took those two little animals and placed them next to another stuffed giraffe that I had placed in there. He was so proud that he got to help put something in there and "finish" it.

I am dreaming of the day that we can do the "big brother/little brother" or "big brother/little sister" pictures and my family will be complete. I'm sure we'll have at least some jealousy and as they get older, they'll argue and fight, but overall, I believe Dakota will be a good big brother. But for now, we'll just keep waiting and preparing...

Baby EJ - Mommy, Daddy & Big Brother are waiting for you!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day

A while back, I read about an Asian-American couple that were living in the Middle East (I don't remember the country but they were there for his job).  The couple had adopted three children from Africa.  The little girl had a disease that was a result of malnourishment before she was adopted and ended up passing away.  As if this family didn't have enough to deal with, the government in the country they were living in said that there was no way the couple would want to adopt "unattractive" looking children who did not look like them and were not related to them.  They MUST have done it for human trafficking and obviously they murdered the little girl. This upset me so badly.  I have lived such a sheltered life in the US that I didn't realize that this kind of thinking even existed.  How dare someone think a child doesn't deserve a home because they're not "blood" related or because they look different?

I was thinking about this today and what today represents.  Men and women fought for our wonderful country so that we could be free - we have freedom to worship as we please (for the most part) and say what we want (again, for the most part). I was able to marry my husband because I loved him - not because someone "arranged it."  I don't agree with most of what our government does today and am not completely happy with the shape our country is in today.  However, as bad as things seem, we still live in a FREE country and for that, I am thankful.

As I'm writing this, I think back to a few days ago.  Dakota was asking me about the wise men and why they brought gifts to baby Jesus.  He sat down in my lap and we had a conversation about King Herod, the wise men, and their gifts to baby Jesus.  I realized while writing this post that being able to have that conversation with my son is something many mother's do not have the privilege of having. Jon & I have the RIGHT and the FREEDOM to tell our son about Jesus - His birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection. 

Dakota sings a song called "God Likes People."  In the chorus, it says "God likes people, any shape, any color, any size.  You don't have to be an angel to be really special in his eyes."  God has adopted us as his children.  He doesn't love us because we are blood or because we resemble His looks.  We are His children and He loves us regardless of our shape, color, or size. 

I know there are people out there who sadly think that you can't love someone who isn't your blood - at least not the same.  There are people who don't believe adoption is a good thing.  But I'm thankful that overall - this country is pretty accepting of the idea, especially compared to that country in the Middle East.  For my freedom to live, worship, pray, be happy, love, and even freedom to adopt, I would like to say thank you to all of the Veterans out there.  Happy Veteran's Day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Being Thankful

The closer we get to our miracle, the more anxious I get.  I think I've started nesting a bit - wanting to get everything "ready."  We cleaned off our front porch this weekend and pressure washed it.  I've been trying to stay more "on-top" of things like the dishes in the sink or the laundry to be done. I want to make sure I'm as ready as I can be when we get "the call."

Very recently, I've begun day dreaming.  It sounds like such a childish thing to do, but i must admit it - I have "dreamed" about getting "the call."  How will I react? What will they say on "the call?"  How much will I know before we leave?  I can't help but think about those things and more.  I'm trying to be patient and wait.  But as much as I know we will get the call when it's THE baby that God has picked for us, I still get anxious and excited.

This month, I started the 30 day thankful challenge on Facebook.  Some people have commented that they don't want to participate because they feel you should be thankful year round.  While I agree with that, I enjoy this challenge each year.  It's not that I'm not thankful on the other 335 days in the year.  However, I believe that, at least for me personally, it's good to take a step back and just think about all that God's done for me.  Sure, it's easy at first - thankful for my salvation, my son, my husband, my parents.  But once you get to day 20, it's not quite so straightforward.  It's not that you don't have anything to be thankful for but sometimes we fail to realize exactly what ALL we should be thankful for.  I think it's a good idea to force yourself to look at your life and see the little things (and maybe some big ones that you don't think about everyday) to be thankful for.

Once thing I am very thankful for that may not be discussed fully on that Facebook challenge is that God picked this road for us.  When we first started this process, adoption was almost a 2nd choice.  I would have loved to have biologically had another child, but I was scared to death to go down that road.  The first peace I had about a 2nd child was when we decided to adopt.  Almost 21 months after making that decision, I have fallen in love with this road.  Shows like "I'm Having Their Baby" helped me better understand what birthmothers likely go through when making the decision to make an adoption plan.  I honestly believe watching this show will help me have more compassion and understanding for what our miracle's birthparents might go through.  I've also joined an adoption forum where I have the opportunity to read posts and suggestions from others who have been there/done that.  While the path to adoption is hard, emotional, and puts you on a different road than almost anyone else you know, I know in the end, it will all be more than worth it.

This journey has taught me to trust in God - that He knows what's best for our family.  Its taught me patience (althouth I'm still not very good at that sometimes).  Most of all, this journey has taught me a lot about faith.  Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  FAITH caused us to begin this journey.  FAITH helps us make it through many many days spent waiting.  FAITH helped us get the nursery setup.  And most of all, FAITH keeps us from getting discouraged along the way.  We have FAITH that our baby is either on its way or will be on its way to us when HIS timing is right.