{ And so I'm back . . . and with a bit of life-changing news! }

It’s been a while, a long while -- 3-ish years -- actually, since I have blogged.  However, today I think is the beginning of a new blogging era for me. 

The kids have taken up so much of my time as they’ve gotten older and I have grown to be busier in my daily life because, well, that’s just what happens, but I decided I just have to make time for it again.  Time, in general, passes so quickly, but I feel like time has never felt so fleeting in my life until this past year when my baby turned 10.  Double-digits hit me like ages have never hit me before.  Before I know it he will be 18.  Sigh. As one of my favorite musicals says, “there’s no day but today”. 

It’s time to start back blogging.  And I’m not starting back lightly but with some huge enormous gigantic news.  I’ll let this kids tell you…

Yep.  We are adopting!

Um. . . “How did this happen?”, you are probably wondering? 

Well, as most of you know, my (only sibling) brother was adopted. Mom and dad adopted Chris when he was just a year old, and little me was 3-1/2.  It’s not a secret he’s adopted, but also isn’t a secret that I have never thought of him as anything but my brother.  Yes, annoying at times (aren't all brothers?) and when he became taller than me I was a little put off that my little brother was suddenly kind of like my big brother.  But Chris fit in very well from the start.  I still remember the day he was brought home.  His curly black locks of hair and adorable little overalls won me over.  Having a baby brother was the best thing in the world.  We have had ups and downs as any family does, but overall it’s been the best experience in my life because it’s been one the biggest lessons in my life.  A lesson of what family really is, overcoming uncertainty, dealing with and overcoming discrimination, but most of all, a great lesson in love. 

Adoption has been a part of me my entire life.  And I believe whole-heartedly that my entire life God has been preparing me for today. 

Back in the early 2000’s Neil and I started trying to have a family.  I thought this would be an easy task but it wasn’t.  We never dreamed we would be “those people” who couldn’t conceive.  We tried for a year and finally got pregnant.  I had morning sickness and even started looking a little pregnant, but at 12 weeks we found out that our baby wasn’t viable.  We lost that pregnancy shortly after.  In my 20-some years of life, nothing was more devastating or physically and emotionally painful than losing that baby.  I would never wish that experience on anyone.  But even thought it was an incredibly painful and discouraging experience, it, too, was preparing me.  Preparing me to love.

We went on to lose two more pregnancies over a period of two years and even thought I wasn’t as far along as the first time, it still took its toll.  After so many losses you lose more and more hope and you end up becoming pretty numb.  I had my faith but I’m not sure how much I actually really did “have” it.  It’s one thing to read the Bible and memorize scriptures but it’s another thing to have FAITH in those words and to truly believe it with all your being. 

I begged to God to give me a baby but I also yelled at God for not letting me carry one.  It was hard to see at that time why we went through all that, but now I know why.  Those three years were to prepare us. To mold us.  Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

We finally accepted we weren’t going to have biological children and decided adoption was the right thing for us.  We so direly craved our family!  And hallelujah, we were accepted into an agency!  That was so exciting!   But weeks after we were accepted into the agency, I found out I was pregnant.  Again.  And numbness took over.  Again.  I really believed I wasn’t going to carry this pregnancy either.

But. . . God had other plans!  We went to our appointment at our Reproductive Endocrinologist and saw, for this time in any pregnancy, a little beating heart.  “What?!  How could this be?” I thought.  But with my own eyes there it was.  “Pa-rump, pa-rump”.  Oh it was beautiful! And that beautiful little beating heart belonged to our first-born, Noah. 

Fast forward. In the next seven years we went on to have 3 babies: Noah, Maia, and Finley.  All of them were without dramatic situations, of course.  I mean no way could Neil and I have anything happen and it NOT be a whirlwind!  But, finally I have learned it has all been a part of the grand plan for us.  And I honestly couldn’t be happier, more humbled or feel more blessed because of the difficult pregnancies we have had.  God is truly so amazing and so, so good. 

Here we are (I mean, “I” am – at this point it’s just “I”) another four years later and feeling the itch to have more children.  I asked God, “why?!” over and over.  You see, two years ago I had a hysterectomy.  So I don’t have a uterus and obviously cannot bear any more children, because as my doctor advised, it would not be the wisest decision (I experienced a blood clot in my brain after Finley was born).  And as my days went on after feeling those “baby pangs” I ran into several people who had adopted either via Facebook or via preschool where a classmate of Finn’s has an adopted sister. 

Adoption was suddenly all around me (or maybe it was there all along but it just wasn’t time for me to “see” it yet?).  And the faith-driven dreamer side of me poured out all the little puzzle pieces of my life picking them apart, sorting them, and putting them all back together.  I thought, “ok this is starting to make sense”. There are suddenly all these people around me who could guide me.  God set this all up.  God is so much greater than me.  He guides my steps and I listen!

I brought it up to Neil.  He was not on board at first.  So I prayed, and prayed, and prayed.  Amazingly, in all this, when I wasn’t expecting, nor did I believe I needed it, He changed ME.  He made me truly dive into His word.  He made me see how love was and is the most important thing we all have freely in this world.  He made me understand that while there might be all sorts of worldly things that we want or even feel like we “need” (i.e., a new car, a finished basement, trees in our back yard, a 15- year anniversary trip, a nicer ring, a new camera lens, etc.), He always knows what we ultimately “need” the most.  And right now he is calling us.  His time is perfect.  All those other things can wait.  One day we can do things for us, and even if we can’t, I know in my heart I would never be disappointed.  Nothing in this world can create happiness or joy.  Only love can.  And love is never created from things.  Never, ever.  God changed ME while I wanted Him to help me change Neil. 

Eventually God did change Neil.  I was standing in the kitchen one day just getting things out of the pantry and he said, “let’s do it”.  I was like, “do what?”.  He said, “adopt”.  I said, “really?” and he said, “yup”. (If you know Neil, you know most of his conversations go like this.) After the shock wore off, I went upstairs so that the biggest smile ever could appear.  I mean, I couldn’t do that initially or I would not look nearly as calm and collected about it all. (hehe) 

Since that day, our conversations have gone from “which country?” to “which agency?” to “how soon?”.  Now that we have decided on a girl from Ethiopia, we absolutely cannot wait for her to get here. 

We know there will be a LOT of ups and downs (as all of life is and if you expect anything but, well, you’re living in a fantasy land), but we also know that with ups and downs you grow.  I never knew what growth really truly was until I started experiencing real pain and real trials. The kind of growth that comes only from God. I know with this adoption we will grow as people, parents and family. 

And we absolutely cannot wait to grow. . . again.

“Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is a mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.” – James 1:12

“(Adoption) is a long, hard road, but what road is easy?  If you’re on an easy road, you might want to ask yourself why.” – Carlos Whittaker


Walls to Windows!

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

- Martin Luther King Jr.

I'm so very proud of how fast our construction workers have went.  They are working so hard and it's apparent with how much progress I see every time I drive by the house (2 or 3 times a day).  I think today I'm going to go by a bakery and buy them some treats.  They deserve it.

Friday before Maia's softball practice, we went by the house beforehand.  We hadn't walked through in a week and wow, it's amazing how different it is starting to look.  Spaces are looking more like rooms and so the house, well, it's beginning to look like a house!  

The first thing the kids wanted to do when we got to the house was run upstairs and see "their" rooms.  But they ran right past to mommy and daddy's area of the house to see the big room with the window . . . our closet!  Well, okay, maybe I should say "my" closet.  He he.  :)

This is Maia in her room.  She'll have the bedroom in the front of the house 
with the high peaked ceiling.

This is Noah's room.  He's thrilled to be getting the biggest room.

Noah looking out the window in his room.

Maia helping daddy do some measuring in the closet.

Maia with daddy in her bedroom.

Hi mom!

I love the little details of the building process.  It's strange to think they'll all soon be 
covered up for forever more.

Oh how I already love my porch.

And all of us with our house :)  Maia, below, is so very excited, he he.

And yesterday, look at the progress!  We have WINDOWS!!!!  They also did the curves above the garage and the porch.  Looks so pretty, I think!  I'm loving how it's progressing.  Wonder what today will hold?  I'll check back in soon!


Foto Flashback

Flashback in photos over the last month . . .

My children being "them" :)

Noah, 7
Finley, 19 months
Maia, 5

These were taken before school, prior to her preschool picture day.

Playing with Easter eggs she dyed at school
Such a normal face of my Maia's
As is this one ;)
And how you'll find Noah at least one time every day; playing legos.

The YUMMY cake pops my dear friend, Erin, sent me all the way from Winnipeg, homemade by Erin herself.  She has an amazing cake business called "sERINdipity".

Just a fun picture.  You know me.
Went to the zoo last week with Maia's preschool.  This is a fave from the day.  A beautiful moth in the butterfly house.  I didn't have my camera out much that morning because of my little animal named F-I-N-N :)
E, A, K and Maia
Her class
E, M and Maia
And Finn buddied up with C


Slow down & enjoy where you are.

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us 
that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are."
-- Bill Watterson

One thing I've learned with our move to Omaha is to not wish for tomorrow but to savor every moment today and enjoy it.  God has made me see that with my eyes and feel it with my soul.

I know some people think, "wow, I can't believe you've lived in an apartment for so long!", and yes, while I feel that way, too, many days, most of the time I'm enjoying it.  My life, especially in the past couple years, has been a testament to, "you never know what tomorrow will hold".  And while living in the apartment has been new and fun many days, and a little crazy every day, I have truly cherished it without hardly ever complaining. But, I'll be honest, I'm ready to be settled.  Ready to make a start.  Ready to move on.  I can't wait to make our house a home.

Here's the latest progress . . .
The kids look forward to our stopping to watch the progress so they can get out and pick dandelions.

After Noah gets out of school, we always drive by first thing.  Here, here's looking out at the progress.

This was Wednesday!. . .

Waiting in the car at Noah's school.

This is the lot across the street from us!  Neil saw a lady here walking around last night carrying a baby!!!!  We hope they are the family building!!

Building my porch!! :)
This is my closet! :)

I already drove by today (without my camera) and the entire house is now wrapped and the porch is complete!  We plan to go by this evening and WALK THROUGH!  Let me tell you, I am EXCITED! I'll be going back with my camera and I'll check back in soon!

Happy Friday!  Truly enjoy and savor the day.