Monday, August 29, 2011

I had to tell myself to "shut up" yesterday...

"Jesus never asked us to be comfortable, and if we are, we're not where we need to be. He asked us to make choices that could be painful, that could disrupt relationships, to help people everyone else judges, He calls us to stretch ourselves because then we can truly be disciples." ~Fr. Tom

I have never pulled out my phone in church but yesterday I didn't bring a pen for notes. Thank goodness I'm a professional texter because I was able to get that quote quickly in my phone before leaped into the cavern where I keep random thoughts. Chris had taken the boys to Children's Liturgy like he always does, God bless him, and I was sitting there along listening to Fr. Tom speak directly to me. I had faith that morning that I was going to hear something that would lift me up. I'm normally a really positive person but the few days before mass I will admit, I was sort of a wreck, bursting into tears when the boys would go upstairs to play and not talking too much, which is a sure fire way to know something's really wrong with me :).

Crazily enough for the second time this year, we were approached by a birth mother to possibly adopt her daughter. It hasn't been through our agency either time but through a family member or a dear friend (you know who you are). I won't go into too many details because we still don't know if we'll be adopting the child, but Chris and I have been overwhelmed with all of the prayers and support from our family and friends. We hadn't heard from the birth family for a couple of days so after throwing a pretty big pity party on Saturday I ended up telling myself to "shut up". I was being ridiculous. Someone was deciding to hand over their sweet little 7 lb. 8 oz. perfect little baby girl to us and I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom crying because I was being impatient. That baby may or may not be ours. We're preparing that it won't be and to move on with our agency but one thing's for sure...we better get use to it. Waiting is a part of the process. It completely sucks, but birth mothers need their time and we have to stand strong in our faith. I read back through my earlier post about how "God is big enough". I forgot that pretty quickly. It was time to shut up and listen. So we prayed. Ok, so we prayed, then we went our for sushi and a movie, but we prayed like we had never prayed before.

Sunday came around and we still hadn't gotten word from the birth family, in fact we haven't heard from them at all, and we had a strong sense of peace about the situation. All of our friends and family had been praying and I know that their prayers helped soothe our souls that morning and then I got to listen to Fr. Tom. On the drive to church I had a feeling that something would be great about his homily that day. I was right. It was a confirmation of everything we had been feeling about our decision to adopt. A call to do exactly what we're suppose to do, stretch ourselves, not be "comfortable" in our lives and to do things that most people would see as potentially painful. Chris and I know what we've been called to do, it's not the easiest thing in the worlds but He's going to stretch us and mold us into the people that we're meant to be. I have a really wise friend who's an adoptive mom herself and I emailed her last week to let her know what was going on. I told her I just needed advice, I didn't know what to say or pray or do to be honest. She just told me to pray, "that God's will be done." So that's what we've been doing. Thanks again for everyone's prayers, thoughts, texts and calls. If we get an update I'll be sure to let you know. Until then, we've got three amazing little boys who's smiles and hugs make us feel like a million bucks. How quickly we forget our blessings sometimes. I need to count them more.

Friday, August 19, 2011

An Honest Question

“Why do you have to adopt a black baby”? I’ve gotten this question numerous times. Normally it’s from a family member or friend that is honestly concerned about our family dynamics but I’m not sure it really sunk in for them until the past few weeks wrapping up our homestudy. (BIG YAY ALMOST FINISHED!!!) I really never thought about why NOT to have a transracial family. I see it as such a shame to have children sitting in foster care mostly because of their race and the fear that they’d disrupt or not be the “perfect” fit for a family. I think we’ve just got to the point in choosing a program, when we decided to adopt a child who is least likely to get adopted. Unfortunately, that would be African American babies. One day we’ll have to sit down and explain to our daughter about her adoption, she’ll one day know and hopefully understand why other little girls just like her don’t have a mommy and daddy, big brothers and grandparents that love her so much and processed through "the system" because they were the same color as her. I don't have the perfect words right now, but sometimes "perfect" isn't really what you need.  I will never say we have a perfect family. My boys don’t eat veggies, we throw tantrums (even me), my 15 mo old still takes a bottle, and we sometimes say things we don’t mean but… We love hard and try to remember that God didn’t make us perfect He made us to be His hands and feet. Hands and feet get dirty, they get bruised, scraped, burned and calloused…but He cleans them, washes them off and everyday they’re just like new. Thank God for new days, each day is a blessing with our perfectly imperfect family and our little girl will have a special place in it whenever she gets here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beach Bums

Chris always shows lots of excitement when he's
driving for long periods of time in the car.

Last month Chris and I decided that we'd take the boys on their first "offical" family vacation and drive to Pensacola to visit my cousins, aunts and uncles for a week. Most people don't really see the fun in driving 12 hours in the car with three boys under six, but I was so darn excited. I think I was more excited then they were and by the time we were in the car to take off I think we may have let out some squeals. I can't begin to tell you how much my husband enjoyed that. *insert sarcasm* There's just something about roadtrips that make my heart happy and allow me to not think about looming decisions, laundry, baseboards and cleaning my kitchen. Roadtrips are fun especially when you're final destination is the beach. This trip was really important to me for other reasons as well. It was sort of like a mission to come full circle, start a new leaf, give lots of hugs and begin to learn about people that I've only heard about in stories. It was time to put faces to names, and what better place to do that than Florida. To explain my family and it's structure I hontestly think most people need a flow chart so please be advised that it's confusing. I always enjoy watching people's faces when I try to explain it...the who's who and what not.  I think when I was around 20, the flowchart idea popped into my head...still haven't done it. I think I should laminate one and stick it in my wallet in case of emergencies LOL! Anyway, back to the beach, I mean heaven, I mean the beach...

The sky was beautiful...every night!

I'd say that Pensacola is where a lot of things culminate for me as a person. My birthmother met my birthfather there, so in a way my story kind of begins in Florida. We decided to drive there after meeting my cousin and aunt at my little brother's wedding and I immediately fell in love with their humor, personalities, love for food and fabulous sense of style ;). Luckily my birthmother decided to come down too so we were preparing for really exciting time together and I couldn't wait to soak up the time with them. I felt like I had thirty years of catching up to do but strangely enough it felt like we had grown up together. I kept thinking I had some "remember when's" or "that was so funny when's" to talk about but we were just starting to create those. I was excited to finally have cousins, to have aunts and uncles who laughed like me, a connection to my family that hadn't been able to occur until now, for my boys and husband to meet new family members and most importantly the ability to see God's Grace in action. There's no one else who could have pulled this craziness off. Is it confusing, yes, of course, but you know what, I don't care. Really....I don't.

My cousins and aunt

One of the biggest things that as been affirmed in our adoption process is that Chris and I are going to have to make decisions that are best for our family. There are many people who probably have panic attacks thinking about having four children. There are people out there who couldn't imagine adopting a child and there are adopted children who have no interest in learning about their birth family. I am not one of those people. Chris was giggling as we were talking about this post last night and I think he joked about how lucky we'll be that our daughter won't have my stubborness. Funny, funny...I hope she does. Sometimes it's a good character trait to have. I'm not going to promise that we won't cry behind closed doors about her having a relationship with her birth family if that's what she wants and we definitely won't promise that we'll have all the right words to explain everything to her. We will say that there are lots of people that love her and if she wants, we can all just be beach bums...