James and I made the tough decision about a month ago to put the adoption on hold for a while. We’ve been in touch with our social worker and she completely understands where we’re at in our lives. We strongly feel that we need to put our family first right now and make sure the kids are going to be ok before we bring another child into the family. I know they will be ok, and they’re already starting to show us how much they’ve healed, but for now we feel it’s best that the adoption is shelved for a while. We will definitely pursue it sometime….just now right now. I don’t know what the timeline is going to look like but when things change, we will update the blog and let everyone know.
OUCH! February 18, 2009
I had just finished cleaning up the dishes last night after dinner and went into the family room to see Allie dancing. (If you know Allie’s she’s ALWAYS singing and/or dancing.) She was dancing and twirling her sweater around her. Right as I came around the corner she slipped and fell face first on the hardwood floor. I ran and picked her up expecting a fat lip but then I saw the blood running down her neck. She had split her chin open. If you know much about me, you know I don’t do blood. There is definitely something in our family genes about being mega-wusses when it comes to blood. I yelled for my mom and we decided pretty quick she needed a visit to the ER. So I bundled her up and off we went.
Our ER experience was really good. We were in and out in less than an hour, plus the place we went has a pediatrician on staff 24/7 so we got a kid friendly doc. She didn’t require stitches but they did have to glue her cut closed. The awesome thing about that glue is that it didn’t hurt her at all. She was very brave and didn’t shed one tear.
And once again James was out of town for this one! It’s so not fair… (If you’re reading this James – you owe me!!)
Still nothing new on the adoption front. We are still crazily trying to work on our house and get it ready to list on the market. Our target day is 1 Mar. I think we can do it, but it’s going to be a busy two weeks.
Please continue praying for our family.
Big changes coming our way February 7, 2009
So it’s been six weeks and two days since dad died. I could even tell you the hrs and minutes if you really wanted to know. I feel every second of it and think of him constantly. I would do anything to fast forward through this mourning crap and be able to look back on it and know we made it through ok. I guess all in all things are moving along. I bought a really great daily devotional book the other day on grieving the loss of a loved one. I read through several days’ worth at a time. It is helping me see that no, I’m not crazy for thinking and feeling the things that I do, and things will get better in time. I can sometimes see this tiny light at the end of the grief tunnel, but other times it is still so dark. And I really hate the dark part.
Mom is struggling more than I ever imagined possible. She and my dad married 41 yrs ago. They were very young when they got married so they truly grew up together. They went through so much during their marriage that I am shocked (in a very happy way) they were able to stay married through it all. They taught James and I so much about the value of having a strong marriage, putting your relationship with your spouse first, and just handling life in general. But they also taught us how to apply so many Biblical principles into our marriage. In a weird way, our marriage is a thousand times stronger since we lost dad. We’ve been forced to be there for one another in a way we never wanted to be. We’ve been forced to hold the other when one of us is struggling with the loss and feeling very hurt and sad. I’m so thankful for James. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without him in the last six weeks. I’ve always been crazy in love with him but I have such a profound respect for him as a man, a husband, and a father that is very difficult to explain. He handled difficult family situations with such an attitude of grace and humility when we were planning dad’s service. He has helped my mom work through all of the details that are required when you lose someone, and he’s been there to hold the kids through their rough moments as well. I know this is super-sappy tonight, but that man has won me over 1,000 times more than he did when we first met 13 years ago.
So we’re at a point now that some tough decisions had to be made. The first of many is that we have decided to sell our home and move in with my mom. She has a big enough home for all of us to live comfortably. Come April when the yards need to be mowed, we simply can’t continue keeping up both homes. Both from a time and financial perspective. We don’t expect this to be a permanent situation, but this is going to be a very hard year on all of us and we’re a very close family anyway, so why not be there for each other 24/7? This is going to allow mom to travel a bit and not worry about her house and property not being cared for. Her Dr. wants her around the grandkids as much as possible right now just to make her smile a little every day. James is about to start traveling a lot for his job, and besides all of that, we were always over here anyway so why change that? We took the first step a couple of weeks ago and had some realtors over to discuss the possibility of selling. We know the market isn’t the best, but we have time to wait it out if we have to. So we’re hoping to have the house staged and ready to list in the next couple of weeks.
I’m going to close for now but I thought this was a good time to update friends and family on where we’re at with everything. I get a lot of emails from friends inquiring about everyone, but right now I don’t have a lot of time to sit and reply to emails. I pray you understand!
There just might be some adoption news forthcoming…..stay tuned. (Yes, in the midst of all this total craziness!!)
Thank you January 5, 2009
This past Christmas was the single worst day of my life. We started the morning with grabbing a cup of coffee in my parents’ kitchen (we had stayed the night with them) and then letting the kids go through their stockings. As I was taking a picture of my dad holding Jacob, it seems like everything around me came to a screeching halt. My dad couldn’t look at me and there was a strange look on his face. Within seconds he was on the ground, my mom and I were screaming at James to call 911, and we started CPR on dad. He had suffered a massive and fatal heart attack. God took my best friend, the best grandfather, and the best dad home to be with Him.
The days following have been so hollow, so sad, and so heart breaking. James and my dad have become very close friends and I know my dad thought of James as his own son and loved him just as much as he does his sons. Our kids thought my dad was the best thing on the face of the earth and they are truly crushed by this loss.
I know this isn’t the topic my friends wanted to hear about on my blog today but everything else seems so trivial right now. Every day is a struggle and there are times I don’t think I can take another breath. I miss my dad with every bit of my being but I continue to take comfort knowing he is in heaven and God keeps whispering to me, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.”
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of our friends who have been here for us. For those of you who dropped everything on your Christmas morning to rush to our side at the hospital (or who came to care for our kids at the house). For those of you who got in your car, or on a plane immediately and came to see us through it all. For those of you who simply called, sent cards, or just prayed with us at church this past Sunday. The body of Christ is alive and well and I pray that somehow through the loss of the greatest man I’ve ever known that others will come to know Him. (Dad would think this was worth it if that happens!)
Some day when I am able to handle it emotionally, I am going to post a video our dear friend, Tom, made for my dad’s service. It is a collection of some of the most beautiful pictures, funny moments, and serious times during my dad’s life and it is set to music. I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch it again for a while, but eventually I would like to share it with you all.
Please continue to lift my family up in prayer. My mom is truly heart broken right now and could use all the support we can offer her.
So now we’re at day 78 on the “new” timeline. December 23, 2008
Going off the different receipt date USCIS has in their computer, today is day 78 waiting on our immigrations approval. It’s my birthday today and I can’t help but think what a cool birthday gift it would be to get approval notification in the mail this afternoon! Though with it being the week of Christmas, I doubt we’ll hear anything for another week or so.
We had a weird week last week. I have showed James literally hundreds of pictures of waiting children and with each one his reaction was pretty much, “cute kid” and nothing more. Last Monday I showed him a new listing for a little boy I saw online. We both had the same reaction – we HAD to get information on him. We called the agency he was listed with and before they could release any information about him they wanted to review our home study. We sent it to them and the director said she would call us on Th. Th came and went without word from her….and his listing was pulled from their site. We didn’t really know what was going on until my friend Diane called me Fri evening. She had called a friend of hers who works at this little boy’s agency and got some information for us. He had already been matched with another family. She was so sad for me on the phone, but I told her it was ok – to us it was still a picture, and not a child. (Thanks for your kindness, Diane!!)
The interesting part of all this is that I have been slacking lately with my morning quiet time. I had finally gotten my rear in gear Fri morning and got up early with my cup of coffee. I prayed specifically for God to close the door to the possibility of placing this child with us if it wasn’t His will. And He did. And in such a gentle way – through a special friend who knows exactly what we’re going through right now and who knew how to tell me.
Our pastor has been preaching the last couple of weeks on “What’s in a Name?” – leading up to his Christmas Eve service on the birth of Christ, the Almighty, Everlasting Father, Wonderful Counselor, etc. One of the verses in his sermon brought such a sense of peace about this process. It is Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” You know those times when you’re in church and you are uncomfortable sitting there listening to the pastor because for some strange reason it seems he is talking to only you and nobody else is in the room? It was one of those times for me.
So I’m still a bit sad about this little boy because there was something about his sweet face that touched my heart. But I know the moment we see our child’s referral photo I will fall in love with him a thousand times more than I did the little guy from last week.
Unless we hear from immigrations this week, I won’t post anything else. Time to enjoy James being off work for the week and spending Christmas with my wonderful little girls and my adorable little man.
So much for a 90 day USCIS process… :-( December 10, 2008
I decided this morning to bite the bullet and call the information number I had for immigrations. It is a local field office that I called and I definitely didn’t get good news. The lady I spoke with was very friendly but told me that technically they had until 4 Jan to get our approval to us (to ensure a 90 day process). I asked why I had a receipt date on our form of 9 Sept and theirs was 6 Oct in the computer. The discrepancy is because we are instructed to send the original I800a request to the Chicago lock box facility and from there they are sent to the local field offices (the one I called this morning.) The field office considers the 90 day window beginning the day they log our request into their computer – not when it was received in Chicago. Going off of the different day, today would be day 68 – not 92.
I think one of the hardest things for me right now is letting go of my control. I want everyone else who sees any part of our adoption paperwork to be in as big of a rush as we are. But the bottom line is that they aren’t. That’s hard to accept.
So today I vow to not rush out the door at 4 and look up and down the street for the mail man. I guess today he can be my friend again. lol
Can I fire my mail man? December 9, 2008
James and I were out all day doing our Christmas shopping. We then had to run some other errands so we were in separate cars when we pulled into the driveway tonight. He saw me heading towards the mail box and he sped up to beat me there. And guess what? Still nothing from USCIS. I think I will call tomorrow and check the status of our case.
In other adoption news, we got an email today that the China orphanage donation fee went up quite a bit. That wasn’t a fun surprise…
It is now day 91 waiting on immigrations approval.