Monday, October 29, 2012

DTE 11 Months and a Little Man Letter

Eleven months down, only God knows how many to go!!

I had a lovely photo of the verse on my gold pumpkin but, alas, it was sideways and I gave up on trying to reimport it. So, yeah. Here's the verse..

Ezekiel 34:12-13a

As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land.

At the conference I attended in September, Beth Guckenberger spoke about this verse (and so many other things). It just reminded me of our journey. I think God is rescuing us just as much as he is rescuing our little person. I mean, our priorities? Shot. Our plans? Gone. Our control? Long gone. And what a blessing.  He is rescuing us from darkness and bringing us into his land.

This weekend was homecoming so the little man's room was full.  Well, more specifically, our whole house was full! Today is a day of laundry and dishes and rest.  And running, of course. Seriously, I promise a post on my running soon. In reality, it's a major, major piece of my life right now and it deserves its own post.

Check out this chain in the little man's room! So big!! And with no referrals in our category for the past 3 months, this chain will only get longer. Good thing it's adorable, right?

Little Man,

This weekend was homecoming and we spoke of you often. When our friends and family ask about our lives, they naturally ask about you. I mean, you are a huge part of our lives, even though you're not here. And maybe not even born. We heard, over and over again, "We're rooting for you! We can't wait to hear about your little man coming home!"  I think you should really know how many people are missing you and praying for you and thinking of you even before you've entered the earth. We are so excited to have you join us!

We cheered the tigers to a victory this weekend and it was super fun. Each time we saw a little tiger costume or a cute little football hat I thought you probably needed it. Since I don't know how big you'll be when you get home, I am waiting to get you too many clothes. But when we know who you are, oh just you wait! You will be decked in black and gold for days and weeks:).

Love you, bubs. Praying for you!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Little Man Letter

Hi Little Man,

Not much to say today. I just wanted to let you know there's a certain song that's been rumbling along in my head all morning. It's a lullaby. I hope to sing it to you someday. Until then, I'll just keep thinking of that day I can sing it to you.

Love you, Little Man. How long do you want to be loved? Is forever enough?



Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Plans and The Thief

Guess what? Another debate is on and I get to blog. Man, I have missed you guys.  Let's chat while my husband laces up his combat boots and watches the VP candidates spar, shall we?

I feel like I might officially have a handle on my job. I have loved it from day one but I haven't always felt like I was "getting it." Well, five months in I think I am getting it.

(You should know E truly just held up his combat boot to show me.  He started working at a veterans loan company in the past few months and he got boots at work today. Not kidding. Told you he was lacing up his boots).


So, other than that, life is swimming. We keep thinking about this adoption, trying to analyze this whole time frame thing.  We know it's going to be a while. With that in mind, we keep wondering what life should look like in between.  Do we try to start our family before we get this person here? Do we add another adoption? Pregnancy? Do we just enjoy the time we have together and not worry too much about time frames? (Let me state for the record the answer to that last question is yes, no matter what the answers are to the rest of the questions.  We are really trying to love each other well and not look too much to what's ahead but instead just enjoy what we have. Because really? We are so, so blessed).  We just don't know what this all looks like.

I've felt really convicted by the Lord lately that I am not spending enough time enjoying my now. I went to the Empowered to Connect conference in September and solidified my commitment to the adoptive community and to our family's adoption. But it also really made me think about where my head's been in the two years since I started this process. And I had a profound conclusion.  Do you want to know where I've been in the past two years?



I have been so worried about time frames and when and ifs that all I've done is worry about what's going to happen in the future. Will I ever be a mom? Do I want to be now? What about now? Now? If not now, will I get there? Am I just being defensive? Will I be able to have a biological child? Do I want to? Should I want to? Now? How about now?  Should I feel pressure to do this? Do I need to stay at home? Will I need to? Do I want to? What happens if I don't want to but I feel like I need to?

Do you want to know what this does? It's MADDENING.  And God really convicted me that this is WRONG. One hundred percent wrong.

Because you know what? God knows the answers to all these questions already. And while I sit here and think and ponder and get sick to my stomach wondering if this life of mine will turn out the way I have it pictured in the chalk paintings in my dreams my real life, the one I am living in this very moment, is disappearing.  (which by the way--it's not possible for them to even turn out like perfect little dreams because they change almost every single day. I have no idea what I want). This imaginary life is stealing the joy of my real life. I'm terrified and it's taking my now. It's a stupid thief.

So...I have decided, consciously, not to live in the future with timelines and deadlines and fear lines and numbers of kids and numbers of bedrooms and numbers of years in the workforce.

Instead, here's the list of things I want to do this year:

*love God
*love my husband
*love my job
*spend time with my friends
*spend time in the word, as much as possible
*be happy with who I have and what I have

That's it. I don't want to sit and wring my hands and wonder about the rest. Because I want to enjoy what I have. It's a trade off. I can't have both. I can't have my imaginary, scary, tedious, chalk painting dream life and enjoy my current life in all its fullness simultaneously. Maybe you can. Me? I either live here or there.

I choose to live here.

Does that mean I won't pray for my future family? Nope, still going to do that.

Will I still write to IC? Yes I absolutely will.  But I am not going to fret about when he'll be here. Only God knows the answer to that.

My job is to serve God and love people. Not to serve self interests and love the plans I make for myself.  I think about Jeremiah 29:11 all the time but sometimes I make it my own version.  Here's the real verse...

"For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.'"

Instead sometimes I think it goes like this...

"I have some plans for you, declares the Lord, "but instead why don't you tell me what you want and worry about what might be instead because if you worry and plan more you might prosper more than if you just trust me to give you hope and a future."

I know that verse isn't biblical. I know it.  So I'm going to try to live it. What does hope and a future mean? That's not for me to know.

I'll do my job.  He'll do his.  I hope you'll join me in this pursuit of serving God and loving people and leaving the planning up to God.

The debate is not ending any time soon but I'm heading to bed...I have 8 miles in the morning. I need to update you all on that soon. For now, adios and goodnight.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

10 Months DTE and a little September Update

This post has been in the que for quite a while and I am happy to get it out there!

September officially hit the 10 month mark of waiting. Well, yes, still waiting.

September was a good month, though, because I got to go to the Empowered to Connect conference and learn so much more about how to parent our little person.  If you haven't heard of it, Empowered to Connect is partially sponsored by Show Hope, the organization started by Stephen Curtis Chapman and his people.  Their goal is to help parents learn how to successfully parent kids from hard places. And you know what? All our kids from adoption are from hard places. Dr. Karyn Purvis, or as I like to call her, Gray-Haired Adoption Mary Poppins, lead the seminar.  You may have heard of her. She wrote a pretty amazing book (I'm currently reading it and can vouch for its awesomeness) called The Connected Child.  The seminar is the book in words and videos and it was so inspiring to hear her speak about the reasons behind the parenting techniques she recommends. I may or may not have started practicing them with kids in our ministry.  

I won't be able to do the conference justice. If you're looking for resources, I would recommend heading to the Empowered to Connect website. They have tons of videos and other good stuff.  Now I know, like so many other parenting books and recommendations, it's easier said than done. But I think the biggest thing to me is she gives science behind what she does and she gives hope for all situations.  It made me really excited to eventually have my child home and start the long bonding, parenting process.  And you know what? I am not always in that excited place.  I'll be honest and say I can't be. I just can't. If I were excited and hopeful and amped up every day, ten months later my heart would be drained. But it was good stuff.  It let me get to that place of wanting to be a mommy to that little one and really look forward to that time.

I also got to meet some people from my agency.  We all planned to do dinner at the house of a local couple.  I wasn't sure how it would go (hey--I'm honest!).  I was a bit afraid we would all get in the same room and only have adoption and Jesus in common. And while that's a lot, I was a little worried if it would be enough.  You know what, though? It was an immediate connection. We shared dinner, a  glass of wine, our stories, our prayers, and our hearts.  By the end of the night, I felt personally connected with these people. We left as friends. It's pretty amazing what Jesus and adoption can give you as a starting point. And, of course, it's hard to share prayers to the father without sharing your heart. It was just an amazing night and I can't wait to follow all of their adoption journeys. In fact, one family got their referral this week!

September also brought my birthday. Yes, I am 29. No, I have no idea what I am going to do with this blog when I turn 30 next year. Any suggestions welcome:).  The birthday was great.  I am telling you this so the pictures will make sense...

I photographed our chain on my birthday cards since our DTE-anniversary was one day before my birthday.  Here's a funny story--I tried to put a verse that spoke to me earlier in the month. As it turns out, I used that verse a few months ago. Whoops! So here was the verse I chose instead...

"I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say, 'my purpose will stand and I will do all that I please'." Isaiah 46:10

One more month... one less month to read and prepare. One more month of waiting, down.

We're waiting for you, buddy.  Whenever you're ready...