Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The First Step

First let me just say THANK YOU!  Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for your prayers as we begin this journey to bring our children home.  We are so thankful that you are coming along beside us as we start this process.  We are so excited and blessed to be answering this calling that God has placed on our lives.  There is joy in obedience.

Tonight we attended an information meeting with The Call, an organization that helps recruit Christian families to become foster families.  Their desire is that there be no waiting children in Arkansas Foster Care.  We are working with them to go through the training and become an approved home.  This is a faster route than going directly through the state.

At tonight's meeting we learned a little background information about The Call and then we met with a sweet lady, L, who works in a neighboring county DHS office.  She went over some of the rules of fostering/adopting with us.  She also went over A LOT of paperwork.  It was a lot of information in a short amount of time. We had read or heard a lot of what was shared with us tonight through our research which helped.

We filled out our paper work for background checks and turned that in tonight.  Now we just wait on L to call us and schedule our first home visit.  During this visit she will check to make sure our home meets certain requirements such as smoke detectors, windows in bedrooms, and things like this.  If they find anything that needs to be done or changed we will have until our final home visit to take care of those things.

The next training class that is offered will be in January.  It is 30 hours packed into two full weekends.  That will be our next step before our final home study.

We are just praying and trusting God to lead us through this journey.

I believe my children are out there waiting on me and I cannot wait to bring them home and love them for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A New Path

A few weeks ago I shared with my sister-in-law some thoughts I had been having about the struggle to get pregnant.   They were ugly thoughts, thoughts that I hadn't even shared with Andrew at that point. They were thoughts that made me feel ashamed.

 She was so sweet to offer encouragement and not an ounce of judgement for my ugly thoughts.  She very wisely reminded me that the thoughts I was having were from Satan.

He is real.  The battle is real.

And on that particular day I needed to be reminded of that.

Fast forward a couple of days...Andrew and I went to church for the first time in a while.  Our lack of attendance...well that's another blog post for another time.  That morning at church there was a special guest from an organization called The Call who spoke about becoming a foster parent and adoption.  At the time I didn't really think anything of it.  He was there because November is national adoption month.

He couldn't possibly have been there because God was in the process of doing something HUGE in my life.  Or so I thought....

A few more days go by and then Andrew decides he is ready for us to do a round of IUI with my next cycle which would be sometime next month.  I wanted to be excited about this possibility, but something about it just didn't feel right.  I didn't have any peace about it.

The very next day a family friend sends me a text message about a baby born who was born at the beginning of last month and would soon be up for adoption.  I shared the information with Andrew.

We talked about it and prayed about it.

It was clear to both of us that adoption was the path we were supposed to take.

Not IUI.

Andrew started doing some research.  He was looking at photos of kids available for adoption when he found a sibling group of 5.

God's plan all of a sudden seemed a little clearer.

The next day Andrew called DHS to inquire about the five siblings and the baby boy.

The siblings are very close to having their adoption finalized and the baby boy hasn't been green lighted yet so they could not discuss his case with us.

Through those phone calls we learned that we need to go through several classes and have a home study done to be an open home.  We cannot be considered available to adopt until we have done those steps.

It seems like the decision to take this path was sudden and out of nowhere but God knew all along.  We believe without a doubt that this is how God is going to grow our family.  We believe that God is calling us to adopt a sibling group.

Next Tuesday we are attending an informational meeting with The Call to learn more about the process of becoming an open home.  We hope to sign up for classes and get the ball rolling.

We've talked about adoption before even before we started trying to conceive, but I never really believed that this would be a part of our story.

I'm thankful this is a part of our story.

We could not be more excited to start this part of our journey.

We ask that you join us in prayer for wisdom and guidance as we began walking down the path of adoption.

We love you all.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Edition

  Tomorrow night I will open the door a few dozen times with a big bowl of candy in hand.  I love seeing all those cute little kiddos all dressed up in their costumes.

I wonder how many Elsa and Annas will show up at my door tomorrow.  

I remember dressing up as a witch and a clown when I was a kid.  I feel like I was one of those two things every year because that's all I remember.  I do remember being a razorback when I was in 6th grade.  I got to bring a friend trick-or-treating with me that year.  I thought that was pretty cool.  I felt so big.  Every other year my brother and I would meet up with our cousins at our Mommom's house.  She always had full sized candy bars for us.  And then we would go trick-or-treating in her neighborhood.

Apparently I was Minnie Mouse one year too.  

How cool is that plastic costume?

Flash forward to my first Halloween as a married woman.  Andrew and I went as Animal Control and a dalmatian. 

What was your favorite costume as a kid?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Day in History

I love the Timehop app.  

It is an app that shares with you things that you posted on the different social media sites on this day one year ago or five years ago or however many years ago you posted.

One of the reasons I blog is because I love having our memories to go back through and to both  remember and see all the ways God has worked and is working in our lives.  

Timehop is a little snapshot of those memories.

One year ago today I sported a mustache to work for Red Ribbon Week.  I ended up drawing mustaches on almost every student in my homeroom that morning.

These two spent the day at the vet one year ago today.  Lincoln Baxter had eaten some rat poison that he found behind our washing machine.  We had only been in our new house for a little over a week and didn't know it was there.  Because we didn't know how much he ate or whether or not Liberty Belle had eaten any, they both had blood drawn.   Lincoln wouldn't cooperate with them when they were trying to draw blood so they ended having to prick two of his legs.  Andrew sent me pictures of them with their legs wrapped.  Broke this furbaby momma's heart.

Apparently I was already listening to Christmas music two years ago today because I posted the following status

"Every time I hear Sleigh Ride I'm instantly taken back to a band concert inside Newark Gym.  Yes I'm listening to Christmas music.  It is cold outside and it makes me happy."

Truth be told I've already listened to a few Christmas songs this year too.  

I also posted about trying to use my sewing machine two years.

"Trying to use my sewing machine.  Could really use my mother in law or my Mommom. #frustrating" 

That hasn't changed.  I still can't use my sewing machine.

 Another thing that hasn't changed is how I feel about my coworkers.  Four years ago I posted that I was "so thankful God has blessed me with some awesome coworkers."  I have different coworkers now than I did four years ago, but I'm still blessed daily by the people I work with.

And five years ago I was "getting ready for the doctor appointment." 

Why was I was going to the doctor?  

Because a few days earlier I had passed on the floor in Jill's hospital room.  She had just had Amelia and wasn't supposed to have any stressful activities due to her high blood pressure.  It was a crazy time.  This doctor's appointment was so they could check blood sugar levels and a few other things after I had gone without food for so many hours.

See?  Fun little snippets of our lives.

If you don't have this app, go grab it.  You'll love it.

What were you doing one year ago today?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Fall Makeover

Without really meaning to I've been working toward a fall makeover.  About a week ago I asked mom to do this ab and squat challenge with me.

I started this challenge a long time ago but I quit before I ever finished.  That is why I wanted an accountability partner this time.  Mom and I text each other every day when we have completed our workout for the day.  Let me just tell you when your mother text you and says she has finished her workout for the day it tends to sound like her telling you to get your booty in gear and do your workout.  HA!!  We are six days and feeling every day of it.

I have the extra challenge of trying to do these exercises with my furbabies around.  It always takes me a little while to get started because this happens every single time...

I also decided I wanted to change up my makeup for fall.  I've never been much of a makeup girl so I'm not sure what inspired this need for a fall look.  I didn't want to spend a ton of money since I wasn't sure what I was going for so I went and picked up a few new things to try from Wal-Mart.

I wore the purplish lip gloss in the middle today and loved it.  I tried the eye shadow as well and quickly learned I know nothing about eye makeup.  I normally don't wear anything more than mascara.  I'm going to have to find some good eye make up tutorials.

Do you have any tips?

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Lesson Twice Needed

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to attend a prayer vigil for Pastor Saeed.  Pastor Saeed is an Iranian American Christian pastor imprisioned in Iran.  He is separated from his wife and their two children and has been for the past two years, yet he continues to shine for Jesus. You can read more about him and his story here.  

Honestly when I first felt like God was telling me to not only attend the prayer vigil but to serve as a greeter, I wasn't sure I would say yes.  Greeter?  Talk to complete strangers?  It was definitely out of my comfort zone.  

And honestly, I probably would have disobeyed this urging had it not been for my husband being out of town.  Going to this prayer vigil was better than sitting at home alone.  

So I signed up.

I had no idea what I would walk away with that night.

It was a beautiful time of worship and prayer with family and old and new friends.  

My heart broke for Pastor Saeed, his family, and others who are imprisoned because of their faith.

My heart was filled with thankfulness for the freedom I have as a believer.  A freedom that I too often take for granted.

My heart was encouraged through Pastor Saeed's words to his daughter.  Words of wisdom, faith, and encouragement.

In a letter written by Pastor Saeed to his daughter celebrating her 8th birthday, he referenced Habakkuk 3:17-19.  When this letter was shared with us that evening I felt God whisper in my ear telling me to go and read the book of Habakkuk.  He had something there just for me.

I couldn't wait to get home and see what it was God had for me in the book of Habakkuk.

I've been wanting to share it with you ever since but I haven't been able to find the words.  Every time I tried to sit down and write what God had shared with me it came out all jumbled up.

But today I read this post.  And she said it perfectly.

Go read it.  

Go ahead.  I'll wait.

Though I may never bear a child of my own...  Though I may never hear a tiny voice call me Mommy...  Though the wait is longer than I ever hoped or dreamed...

I will rejoice.

I will praise God because he is God.

He is worthy.

He is good always!

This verse, this blog post, and this story could not have come back to me at a more perfect time.

Andrew and I had a little family photo shoot Tuesday afternoon.  It was the hardest photo shoot.  I wasn't looking forward to it.  I cried over it.  I just wanted to get it over with.  

It wasn't the photo shoot I wanted.  It wasn't the photo shoot that involved a cute Baby Weaver or even an announcement that Baby Weaver was on the way.

It was just the two of us and our dogs.  AGAIN.

God was so good to use my husband, Uncle Kevin, and Aunt Sandi to remind me of just how blessed I am.  I was reminded of those verses in Habukkuk and that I have reason to rejoice. 

God has already given me a beautiful -somewhat furry- family and although I cannot wait until the day we add a 5th member, my family is perfect just the way it is.

Thank you God for loving me and for blessing me with the perfect family.