Thursday, December 29, 2011

We are blessed. God has given us life. I am thankful for that fact as Christmas just passed and I have thought a lot about Christ coming as a sweet little baby. This has become more real and harder for me to fathom now that we have Lucy. I can't imagine my Lord being a little one like Lu, but I am so thankful. We have life because of it.

Christmas was wonderful. We had time with our families. We ate a lot. We relaxed a little. We snuggled our sweet girl. We received gifts way beyond our needs. We are so blessed.

Our little Christmas was our first with our daughter. I am thankful she wasn't mobile this year and into the tree and the presents (especially because our tree tried to fall over one day... not kidding. not fun.). I am glad that she wasn't in the mix this year. I needed one year of her snuggled on my chest while all the nieces and nephews tear open paper and swoon over gifts. I needed her to get stuffed animals and clothes and toys that she doesn't really care about... yet. She will love them and appreciate them. She just doesn't yet. This mama needed that. I needed it to be slow this year.
Christmas morning

We spent Christmas sick this year. Lucy came down with a cold on Thursday. It moved to Cam and finally to me. Lucy had a fever on Christmas Eve. No pretty Christmas dress at church for this girl. She and I stayed home and snuggled.
Christmas Eve at home sick

We have some big announcements in 2012. Things we aren't ready to share yet, but things that God is doing to completely change our lives. I'll share here when the time is right. For now, please feel free to pray for us. We need to trust in the Lord and walk in faith to where He is leading. 

I also realize I haven't posted in a long time, so I am very behind on pictures. I'll be posting some pics from the last two months. For now, here is sick Christmas baby. (she's better now)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

tis the season

This Christmas season has been full. It's been full in really wonderful ways and full in really stressful ways. I feel like we are constantly spinning many plates trying to not drop a single one. Tonight we finally said "no" to a commitment. It's hard to miss things or not do things as well as you would like. I am looking forward to Sunday to rest in the Lord. We won't have a million places we HAVE to go. We'll only go somewhere if we want to. We won't feel obligated to clean our very dirty house. We'll only clean it if we are in the mood. I need tomorrow to be like that for me. I need to re-charge. I have one more week of work before my Christmas break (What do people do that aren't teachers?). I can make it. I can get there.

In all the craziness I don't want to miss what the Lord has for me. I don't want to crowd out His voice and miss opportunities to enjoy Him. This is a big Christmas for us. It's our first with Lucy. We are trying to settle into life with a baby and me working and Cam's wacky work schedule and everything else. We are praying that we are guided by God to draw nearer to our Savior this Christmas season. Tis the season, after all.

Friday, November 25, 2011

lucy laughs

Tonight we were spending time with Cam's family. Our niece, Teagan, wanted to help give Lucy a bath and take one herself. So we stuck Teags (2 years old) in the bath next to Lucy's baby bath tub and got the suds going. We were just scrubbing along as usual and Lucy was watching Teagan pretty closely. Teags poured a cup of water on her own head and Lucy laughed out loud at her. It was amazing. It was the most beautiful giggle I've ever heard. Cam was in the bathroom too, so we both got to be there for it. Thank you, niece, for being so entertaining to evoke this giggle she's been holding inside.

My heart melted. My little girl laughs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

can you tell?

Can you tell I went back to work? I've been quite absent from the blog world lately. I got really sappy and sentimental the last few weeks of my maternity leave and did nothing but hold sweet Lucy Jane. I soaked up as much of her as I possibly could. I wouldn't trade one moment of that time I had off work. How could I when this face is what I would see all day long??!!
For those of you that didn't know, I am very funny. Ask Lucy. 
This growing girl is so happy and smiley. She thinks we are funny (because we are) and she is changing so much each week. It's crazy! Soon she will be laughing. She gets really close to laughing and opens her whole mouth and begins to sound like she is cracking up. I will just fall over when she actually laughs. It won't get any cuter. This killer smile will more than do for now. Isn't she just precious!?

Going back to work has been overwhelming. I was immediately showered with love from my co-workers and my students. I can tell that I was very missed and that's always nice. The girl that has been subbing for me (and is still there in the afternoons since Christina is gone on her maternity leave) had the kids write letters to me. They were so sweet and cracked me up. It was a wonderful reminder right when I walked in the door to work that I love my job. That is a good feeling. My students are worth it and they deserve the best I can give them. It's been rough getting into the swing of things, but it's been good.

Poor Cam... I cried a lot leading up to going back to work. I cried a lot the day I went back to work. Occasionally I still cry. I get very overwhelmed with the thought of it and randomly cry. I'm a mess!

We've been busy around here. Lucy went to her first parade on Veteran's Day. She mostly did this.

But later got up to cheer them on. 

We've gone to weddings galore in November. Lucy apparently does not find them to be all that interesting. We had fun at them though!

Cameron turned another year older. He is the big 3-0 now. Lucy got him a card with her handprints on it. I got him a monkey card. I think hers was the favored one. She wore this outfit for his birthday since red is his favorite color and every time I dress her in red he talks about how cute she looks. I'm convinced she can wear any color she wants. She looks amazing in everything.

This one tells me she may have a future in rapping. Doesn't she look like she's saying "yo yo yo..."

 Love this little girl of ours. We are so thankful for her and the joy she brings us. God is so good to His people.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

talking about adoption

We just adopted for our first time two months ago. We are not experts on the subject, but adoption is something deeply personal for us. The days, months, years leading up to our adoption were times of high highs and low lows. I know that it was a sad time for us, grieving the loss of having a pregnancy. It was a scary time, having to trust God that we are stepping into His will for us. It was exciting, dreaming of our babies we didn't yet know (we still don't know all of them).

There were several times during our time to trying to get pregnant and then while waiting to adopt, that I fell to pieces at the sight of a pregnant person or a baby or a shoe that looked at me wrong. Emotions have been very high for the past few years. I remember all the people in our lives that we love that got pregnant. I remember them because although I was happy for my friends and family, it reminded me of the deepest pain I have ever felt. I tried to never take away from someone's great news by bursting into tears about my own sadness. I can't say I was always successful, but I tried really hard. I will never forget learning that my dear friend, Jessica, was pregnant. She rocks, by the way. She has been such a source of love and support to me during this whole process. She handled her news with such sensitivity and I am forever grateful for that. I remember where I was and the conversation we had about the amazing news that she and Josh would have sweet Esther over the summer.

I never wanted everyone's life to stop and feel sad for me. In the same breath I will tell you that I always wanted everyone's life to stop and feel something for me. I wanted understanding, acknowledgement, and on my bad days I wanted pity from everyone I ever knew. Didn't everyone else feel as bad for me as I felt for myself and can't someone fix this problem?

I know talking to me was not always easy. I know people didn't know what to say or how to say it. They didn't know how to ask questions. They would ask inappropriate questions or say something absurd that would, in turn, cause me to say something back. There is a wonderful blog post about how to be a village around an adoptive family. It is referencing an international adoption, but most things apply to our domestic adoption. It cracked me up to read this woman's thoughts on her friends and loved ones, because so many times people are just trying to love us. It comes out in funny ways sometimes. Read it if you have a chance.

Being all wrapped up in myself was pathetic. It was lonely. It was a waste of my life and my gifts. I began to ask God where my time was to be spent. It was in those lonely, pathetic, self-centered times that God revealed to me a really wonderful gift He has given me. I began to develop that gift and spend my energy thinking about other people more.

I am thankful for the way that Cameron and I grow our family. It has given us countless opportunities to rely on God for provision. It has taught me more lessons than I probably ever wanted to learn. It has brought our family into a connection with a family we might not have ever been close to. It brought us our sweet baby. Thank you, Lord, for adoption. We are so privileged to raise our daughter.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

side by side comparison

Lucy at two days. Lucy at two months. Notice how big she has gotten. I can't believe how big she is getting. She doesn't eat a ton at each feeding and I've had several people comment on that fact. Well, people, there is no doubt that she is, indeed, growing. No need to worry about this girl!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

pumpkin yum

I bought this yesterday. Yum. I had it on toast this morning with my coffee. It was perfect. I love apple butter too... actually I love butter. I do not discriminate against any kinds of butter. It's just delicious.

I haven't really done too much with pumpkin this season. I have been able to enjoy  Marm's pumpkin fudge and my brother's pumpkin snickerdoodles. I am an excellent taste-tester of all things pumpkin. Every year on Wednesday before Thanksgiving my sister-in-law, Shannon, and I have what we call Pie Day. We use it to prep for the Thanksgiving feast my mom cooks for a million people the next day and she and I make our famous pumpkin pie. It is famous, you know. People talk about it.

On my list of pumpkin recipes to try are:
Baked Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal (recipe from the kitchn)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (recipe from a friend, Laura, who blogs at The Happiness of Rainy Days)

Pumpkin Bread (recipe from Simply Recipes)

I need to get roasting this guy so I have fresh pumpkin to use and I can bake the seeds and try to not finish them in one sitting.

If you have a pumpkin recipe I have to try, please share!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

saying thanks

There has been so much for me to say "thanks" for lately. We have been supported by family, friends, friends of friends, and strangers. It's amazing to see God work through people He has surrounded us with.

I had TWO amazing baby showers. Lucy and I got spoiled. I made these thank you cards inspired by these that were done by Ashley Ann (my favorite blogger).

I just sewed some vintage fabric to a notecard and stamped the letters on. They were so simple and easy to make and I loved them. I think I made 50 and I ran out of thank yous and had to use some plain, not-so-cute ones.

Here is how thankful I had to be... That's a lot of people who have blessed us immensely during this time of bringing Lucy home. If you did something for us and did not receive a thank you, please forgive me. I tried to keep a list of people and write them and send them out as timely as possible. It is likely I missed someone. Not because I wasn't thankful, but simply because I'm sure I thought I already wrote it. Forgive me in advance, please!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Lucy's first Halloween was yesterday. We had some family over that live close. We ate dinner and got all the kids dressed and sent them out trick-or-treating. I stayed behind to pass out candy to the 8 trick-or-treaters. Where are all the kids and why didn't the want my candy? We sent a bunch home with our guests and I've been working diligently on the tootsie rolls (Thanks, Christina, for getting me hooked 5 years ago. Thanks a lot.) that were left behind. We'll have it gone in no time. 

This Halloween was perfect. We had our little girl. We were surrounded by family and food (two of my favorites). We just hung out. It was exactly what I wanted out of the night. 

Lucy dressed up as a kitten. She was adorable. We have a neighborhood cat that loves us and hangs out at our house always. We named her Snickers because of her coloring. Lucy was technically supposed to be Snickers for Halloween, but I got lazy. She was all white instead. I saw some hats at Gap this summer that had kitty faces and thought, "I could do that." So, I did. They were obviously a little different, but that's where my inspiration came from. I made her little "mask" and then she was dressed in a white onesie and white tights. Pretty simple, but she looked great. 

 I must admit, I'm loving all these smiles she's giving us lately. They melt my heart. I was thankful she gave us a few before all falling asleep in Cam's arms while they trick-or-treated. Did you just judge him for trick-or-treating with her and wonder if he had a bag and got candy? There are people who do that, you know. You'll have to ask him if he did or not.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Open Adoption: a visit with Lucy's birthfamily

On Saturday we had a visit with Lucy's birthfamily. It's actually the second time we've seen them since she's been home with us. Both visits have been birthday parties for members of her birthfamily. It was a lot of fun seeing them and look forward to seeing them again at the next visit or party that comes up.

I know some of you are thinking it sounds crazy to have enjoyed seeing them. A year and half ago (or longer) I probably would have thought that idea was crazy too. I remember as Cameron and I began getting serious about moving forward with our adoption, we had a lot of fears of "open adoptions." It seems like having an open adoption where you communicate with and/or have visits with the child's birthfamily would be really scary. Maybe the family will be hard to deal with. Maybe they won't view us as the child's parents and will undermine us to the child. Maybe they will be possessive and pushy. Maybe they will try to steal the child back at some point. Maybe we just won't get along with them. Maybe we won't feel like the parents around them and there will be a sort of battle for the seat at the top as the child's "parents."

These are all thoughts, as crazy or silly as they seem, that have run through our minds as we prepared to adopt. We didn't really know anyone who had an open adoption when we began this journey. These thoughts were coming from a lack of information and experience. Our adoption agency, Christian Family Care Agency, made us go through 2 months of classes before we could be certified to adopt. CFCA greatly values and really only supports open adoptions. There is a lot of research out there that points to how healthy and wonderful openness in an adoption can be for all parties, but especially for the child and the birthparents. We took the classes, willing to hear about it but unconvinced, and we are complete converts! Open adoptions are amazing. I can't wait to see how Lucy's life will be shaped getting to know all the people who love her.

As we sat in our classes, God began breaking down walls that I had up around my heart in this matter of openness. I'm not sure if they were there because we struggled with infertility for so long and having a baby felt impossible. Having that little bit of "control" over not having to know or deal with these strangers giving me their baby may have been the only way I could deal with things. I'm not really sure why the walls were up, but they definitely were. I listened to teachers talk about the relationships that could be formed between families and why they were so powerful in a child's life. Christ began changing my heart. I melted for these birthmoms. I began to weep and pray for the broken hearts of these women as I thought about them at all hours of the day. My heart broke for theirs and the decisions they would be brave enough to make. It's amazing, because Cam's heart was changed too. We both saw the value and the privilege it would be to have such a bond between families.

Before we first met with Lucy's birthmom we didn't know if she would choose us. We knew we wanted to choose her, but realistically we needed to meet with her and get to know her first. We met with her and her mom and we fell in love with the idea that they could be part of our family too. It seemed like a perfect fit for us. I know it doesn't happen that way for all adoptive couples and birthmoms. It's not always a seamless fit. Ours, thankfully, is. We enjoy their company. We respect them and the decisions the whole family helped make to bring Lucy home to us. We know they love our little girl deeply. There's a lot of them and a lot of us, so just imagine how many people pray for Lucy and shower her with love and kisses. What a blessed little girl.

We spent a few hours with Lucy's birthfamily over the weekend. We watched as she got passed around for everyone to gawk over how beautiful and perfect she is. We answered all the questions about how she is sleeping and eating and pooping. We watched Lucy look right at her birthmom and give her a big smile. It was beautiful. God has blessed us with our gorgeous daughter and a wonderful birthfamily. Looks like we are the lucky ones.

Friday, October 28, 2011

music to my ears

Cam just had his weekend. We've been establishing some bedtime routines with Lucy Jane lately. Since Cam was home, he put her to bed pretty much for the past few nights. I helped here and there, but he read her a story and sang to her. I was walking by her room and heard him showing Lucy the pictures in Goodnight, Moon. He read it to her and she kicked her feet around listening to him. It was seriously precious. Then he sang to her and gave her a bottle. Listening to their interactions is music to my ears.

I knew that Cameron is an amazing husband. There was no doubt that he'd be a great father too. Now that it's here and happening, it's so fun to watch. So, it doesn't surprise me. It just continues to amaze me how God has blessed me with him.

By the way, Lucy smiles at him all the time. She loves him so much. No, I'm not jealous...

Stay tuned to before and after pictures of our house. We just got the pink and blue beast painted and she's a beauty now. If only my new front door would be installed soon, we'd be set!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Lucy is six weeks old now. I can hardly believe it. She's growing and changing everyday. She smiles all the time. It's awesome. If I say, "goo goo goo" she'll often reply with "goo" and it completely melts my heart.

For her six week milestone, she decided to give me and Cam a present. She slept for six, uninterrupted hours last night. She is such a good girl! I loved the gift and I don't expect it to happen everyday, but I'll take what I can get.

It's crazy to think that she's been with us for six weeks now. Our lives are forever changed by this little person. She is a joy. I have such a proud feeling to take her places and have people dote all over her. She is a huge responsibility and I take that very seriously. I pray that my choices as a mom will forever impact her life in a positive way.

Here is my messy milk face girl.
I think this picture is from last week, so she's only 5 weeks old here, but isn't she adorable! She is the messiest eater and gets milk all over her face and neck all the time. It's a good thing our friend, Ally, made her some super awesome bibs.

Hope you get six hours of sleep tonight (and me too).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

making salad

Isn't this how everyone makes salad? With a screaming baby who was only going to be happy in her car seat, strapped in, and being bounced all over while tearing lettuce and figuring out how to put it all together? No? That's not how you do it?

A few more arms would be awesome. They are not completely necessary, but helpful for sure! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

bad days and good days

Saturday was a bad day. My little one was tough all day. She wouldn't rest well. She didn't want to be held but didn't want to be put down. She was loud and fussy. (She is still getting over her little cold, so I know she is allowed to be more fussy.) My patience was tried though. That's what daddies are for! He rescued me. Praise God for husbands.

Sunday was a good day. I got told that there is NO WAY I could have a baby so young because I am too tiny. No, I didn't tell her Lucy was adopted. No, I didn't fill her in on all the small details of my life and Lucy's because I don't have to. I said thanks and enjoyed my moment. It was a good day.

family breakfast date

So a couple weeks ago I had the itch. I needed to get out. I need US to get out together. Lucy has gone on countless Target trips and grocery shopping adventures with me. I needed some time other than that. I needed some delicious food and good conversation. It gets lonely talking to only your baby for most of your days and nights. Cam's schedule has been a little tricky for this new mama and I've been craving time for him to be with Lucy and I.

I woke up one morning and said, "We're going to breakfast!" So we did. It was amazing. We went to Matt's Big Breakfast, which is amazing in and of itself. The coffee is delicious and I don't even look at the menu. I say, "I want the special." It doesn't matter what the special is that day. It's always awesome and always worth it. It's a good thing that it's worth it considering this place, which is in downtown Phoenix, always has a wait. I believe this was a Tuesday morning around 10 or 10:30 am and we waited 30 minutes. That's a really reasonable wait. If you go on a Saturday morning, prepare to wait for hours. I'm not kidding.

We sat and enjoyed our coffee and breakfast. Lucy slept through it. We talked and laughed and answered everyone's questions about how old she is and thanked everyone for saying how cute she is. :)

This little family date was much needed. It is the little things that you can find such joy in when you're looking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

sick day

My sweet little girl is sick. It's her first time in life being sick and it's my first time being a mama to a sick baby. It's fun how we go through these firsts together. I love that she is my first and the one I get to share all these with.

She has a runny nose and is very congested. She is not eating as much, due to her lack of being able to properly breathe out of her nose. She has been fussy somewhat. It's been really hard because I just have to watch her suffer. I can't really help. I can alleviate her discomfort at times and hold her when she wants to be. I cannot fix it though. It's a pretty helpless feeling.

I have resisted the urge to rush to the doctor's office. I wanted to. I just know deep in my gut that she's ok and just needs some TLC at home. We are watching her to make sure there's no fever or anything else alarming.

We had lots of fun things on the agenda this week and I have cancelled a bunch of them to be at home so she can rest and get well. It's crazy to say, "Sorry, my daughter is sick so we can't make it today." It makes me want to just squeal. Not the sick part, just the part where I'm a mom to the best little girl ever.

She's definitely growing and changing. Many of her newborn onesies no longer fit. She's too long! She's moving up in the world and guess what... she has some awesome clothes that are 0-3 months. Check out my favorite outfit. There are no words to describe how much we are all loving kitty dress and jeggings around here.

Precious. Seriously precious.

Friday, October 7, 2011

enjoying each moment

Cameron and I have loved this new adventure of parenthood. We waited a long time for it to officially begin. It has not been a seamless adjustment. There have been tears and frustration while we are trying to get into the swing of things. I'm sure it's only the beginning.

One thing we are trying to be intentional about is loving Lucy for exactly who she is. At times I find myself longing for the days where she will smile at us (She just started that and we can get her to do it 75% of the time. It's not gas, people. These are legitimate smiles.), when she'll learn to talk to us, when we'll get to see her personality in the full, when we'll know exactly what kind of hair she'll have (fro, please!), and anything that makes her bigger than she is and older. Well, we don't want to live like that. We want to relish in the little person she is right now. We want to enjoy her babyhood and not wish it away.

There are millions of little things I love about her. Here are some of the things I'm hanging on to as moments to treasure and store in my heart:

  • She loves snuggling. Her favorite place to nap is on my chest. She even holds onto my shirt, arm skin, and neck to get a tighter squeeze. 
  • She makes the cutest noises. We must get them on video. She cracks us up with her martian noises and her little coos. 
  • She'd rather be in our arms than anywhere else. I know there will be a day when she won't want to snuggle as much or be held. It's a long way off, but I never want to forget her longing to be held. She also loves to be touched. She loves her hair to be played with and her forehead rubbed. 
  • She needs me. I (we) am the one who can help her when she is in need of something. It's my job to read her cues and give her what she needs, when she needs it. What a special job (and tricky at times). 
  • Her hair is awesome. I love that she has a full head of hair. How do moms of bald-headed babies do it? I just look at her hair and my heart melts. I dream of brown curls and maybe even some wild hair going on when she's older. 
  • I love her little birthmark. She has a little light-colored birthmark on her right shoulder. I don't know if it will last, but it's there now. 
  • She has hairy ears. It's cute, I promise. I know it won't last, but it's adorable for now. 

She is the sweetest girl. She's happy. She's curious. She's smart. She's mine. What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

it starts

I've been out and about with Lucy these past few weeks. That's one of the perks of adoption- no recovery! We've gone to Target more times than one probably should. We've been shopping and visiting with friends. We have an outing of some kind almost every day.

Well, it has started. The "it" I'm referring to is the one where people find us intriguing. They don't exactly see how she and I fit together and so they start commenting. It has mostly been out of sheer curiosity and has been harmless. I can see where it will be going from here though. I've heard stories and read many blog posts about how thoughtless and hurtful strangers can be. Fielding comments from complete strangers is something we signed up for when we decided to adopt, especially when we wanted to adopt a baby of a different race. Lucy is biracial and Cam and I clearly are not. The wonderings are bound to happen.

So far we've only gotten things like:

  • "Is she yours?"
  • "Where does that dark hair come from? Her mom/dad must have really dark hair." 
  • "Wow, she's dark." 
  • "She's not yours, is she?" 
So, we haven't had anything too crazy. The one about how dark she is made me want to slap someone because I don't think it came from a nice place. I know these are only the beginning. 

It's amazing that we first adopted a newborn and not an older child. I get to practice how I react to people's comments while Lucy is unable to understand. I get more time with that as she is so tiny now. I get to ease into it so that when she is older and able to understand people's questions about our family and why we don't all... match, I will have experience in how I respond and react to the situation.

My hope is that she always sees us reacting in a way that protects her and her story. I always want to react in a way that gives the "attacker" the least amount of power. I always want to react in a loving way that shows Jesus to anyone around. Now, that last one is hard for me. If you haven't met me yet, you should know that I'm sassy. I speak my mind and don't have a problem with a little confrontation. I even think it's a little bit fun sometimes (I know, I'm a sick puppy). So, reacting in love doesn't mean that I show Lucy how to be a doormat. It means that I show her how secure we are as a family unit that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about it. It may also mean that we educate the public on thinking before speaking.

Monday, October 3, 2011

the view from here

Yes, this is my sweet daughter with her head hanging out of the Moby wrap just so mama has to hold her more. She hasn't let me put her down all morning. I don't mind.

Yes, her tongue is hanging out as she sleeps. It's precious.

Yes, those stripes you see are my jammies. It's 1:15 pm and I'm still in my jams.

Yes, that is a huge pile of clean laundry waiting to be put away. Hey, at least it's clean.

I'm not getting anything done, but I don't care. Today is a lazy, snuggle day with my favorite little girl. Loving that God has blessed us with this sweet baby and chose us to be her parents.

I hope you get a pajama kind of day soon. They are lovely.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

up all night

Isn't that the name of a new TV show? I bet I would identify with it now more than ever and would find it quite amusing. I should watch it.

When I wrote that title it's because we are. Miss Lucy naps and sleeps like a champ all day long and decides to have her crying sessions during the night.

Hungry? Couldn't be.
Hot? Nope.
Cold? No way.
Want to be swaddled? Sometimes.
Want to be walked around and around and around? Usually but not always.
Want to snuggle? Sometimes.
Just crying? Ok.

It's painful to listen to her scream. Hurts the ears, but emotionally it's hard on me. I want to help her, fix her, make her all better like mamas do. I want to be patient and loving and gentle because she deserves that. I find that my great soothing skills can go out the window when I'm over tired. I enjoy sleeping at night. I do not enjoy naps. So if we could get this night thing down, I'd be a happy camper. I don't mind getting up to feed her. I really love holding her and seeing her always. I just do not enjoy the crying sessions she has had after her feedings.

We are working on it. Sorry, Lucy, you're parents are brand new at this. We'll get it eventually. Hoping you got lots of sleep last night. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

yesterday was lovely

Yesterday I was honored at work with a baby shower for sweet Lucy. I was shocked with how many people came, even some old friends came back for it. It was shocking because we have such a new staff this year and some of those girls I have hardly spoken to. They came and bought me presents. It was really sweet. We got tons of stuff and apparently the word is out that we don't bathe Lucy, since many of the gifts were bath related. :) My grade level team threw the shower for me. They spent their time and money to make sure I felt special. It was truly a blessing and I'm overwhelmed with how loving everyone has been throughout this journey.

It's funny the things you probably never thought about. When a woman is pregnant, especially with her first baby, everyone swoons. People want to talk about your growing belly (I realize this can get old or annoying, but get over it. Not everyone has that luxury.) and you have a shower that recognizes that your baby is coming soon. Everyone is helping you prepare by showering you with gifts and giving you lots of attention.

Well, adoption is different. People don't ask about your growing belly because you don't have one. People don't always know how or what to ask if they do genuinely care and want to know about it. It is not often recognized in advance with a shower as that is not wise to do in case of a disruption. People don't shower you with attention and gifts helping you prepare for your little one. It's hard. Call me selfish, but there is a big part of me that just wanted to do this whole thing the traditional way. I wanted all the attention and the swooning over my pregnant belly. I wanted a shower to help me prepare for my first baby.

This was something I really struggled with before Lucy was here and while we were waiting to be matched with her. It felt like our time of preparation was quite lonely. Please don't misunderstand me. Our families and friends were genuinely happy for us and celebrated and cried with us the whole way. We knew our support systems were strong. We I just missed out on all that fun before-hand stuff.

We have been abundantly blessed by God through you since Lucy has been here. It has been absolutely incredible to see the amounts of love that are poured out through meals being prepared for us, gifts given, time spent, and true excitement shown. We cannot express how we have been touched by the emails, cards, phone calls, and visits. Lucy is so loved. We are so loved. Thank you for making our experience of having our first born so memorable.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The doctors say our sweet girl is doing great. After her first appointment she got her foot poked again. I appreciated the stylish bandage. I think she did too. She didn't even cry when they poked her. What a trooper!

She slept through her first hair washing at home. It cracked me up. It also cracked me up that Cam thought I had the water too hot, when really she was just peeing on him. :)

Her hair curls up after she gets a bath. Somehow it straightens back out when it's dry. I can't wait to see what her hair will be like... curly or straight, fro or not. I seriously can't wait. I hope it's crazy and a little fro-ish. I have no idea how to do that kind of hair, but I would truly love it.

Just thought you might want to see a few pictures. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

neglected blog


I know it's been a while. I've neglected the blog. There is no doubt about it. I've had good reason though. My neglected blog means that my daughter has been given the attention and swooning she deserves. We've been doing a whole lot of snuggling and watching and caring for our precious little girl.

She went to the doctor on Wednesday for her two week check up. It's crazy that she is already older than two weeks. She is starting to change already. Her diapers that her skinny legs would swim in are already tighter. Her onesies are getting more snug. It's amazing. Don't worry, her double chin is growing (she started with that). The doctor said she looks great and that she is gaining the weight that she should be. I have really loved our doctors and the time they spend with us answering questions and just rambling about her daily happenings. I'm sure out of all that rambling on they get the info they are looking for. We've been very pleased with the support they have given us as far as the adoption goes. They have had many adopted patients before, so they are really great at helping guide us.

We have had so many wonderful, cozy days at home lately. I hate that Cam has gone back to work. I especially hate it because my nights can be really long at times. We miss him when he's gone though. I can't wait for his weekend each week!

We are having so much fun. We've had lots of fun photo sessions too. I have got to go... the girl is hungry. I'll try to be better with updates. Lucy is just the most important thing. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

meet lucy

I know you've waited to get your eyes on this sweet little girl. Thank you for your patience in waiting to see pictures. We were being cautious and waiting until the birth family signed their final paperwork. That means that we are out of the uncertain place not knowing if she would get to stay with us forever. Our adoption won't be final for months still, but she is ours.... for good. Praise God!

Meet Lucy Jane Wisdom

Isn't she perfect? This is one loved individual. We are so proud and honored to be her parents. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

firsts for little lucy

We have had many firsts in the past few weeks. Life has been changing. Things have been amazing, hard, challenging, fun, and exciting. Lucy was one week on Wednesday. Crazy.

She had some firsts that made Cam and I crack up the other day. Within 12 hours of each other, Lucy had her first blow-out diaper, she peed all over my sheets (not her sheets, mine), and she spit up big time on the couch. Way to go, Lucy. You are breaking us in.

Life has been some kind of wonderful these days. Loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

be flexible

"Be flexible" is our agency's motto for the adoptive family, especially during the hospital time. That has proven to be necessary for us with the changes and extra days without bringing our little girl home. We just had to wait and deal with it. It wasn't fun. It wasn't easy. It was another way God has stretched us and given us stronger legs to stand on. We spent two nights without her and with broken hearts. Although we struggled through that time, it is nothing compared to the number of nights her birth mom will spend without her. That helps put it into perspective for me. When I feel bad for myself, I just think of Lucy's birth mom and the horrific pain she is going through emotionally. I cannot imagine being separated from this little bundle of joy for a minute, so the thought of a lifetime is overwhelming.

Be flexible. Papers did not get signed today. Lucy's birth mom is on too many pain medications due to physical complications to sign papers right now. Breathe deep and be flexible.

I don't think she is wavering in her decision to place Lucy with us. I don't think she is stalling. I don't think anything bad will happen for us in this. I am trusting that the peace I feel about everything is from God. I know that no matter what happens, God loves me and cares about the little pieces of my life. He will never leave me and Cam and He will never leave Lucy Jane. God is good.

I really don't think birth mom will change her mind at all, but it is the gigantic elephant in the room. It's that final piece of this part of the puzzle. It will give us the ability to rest easy and celebrate that she gets to be our daughter for good. Paper signing has been moved to Friday. Hold on to your britches, didn't I tell you this would be a bumpy ride?! We'll keep you updated.

By the way, Lucy Jane Wisdom is one week old today. She's growing up too fast already!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

sorry for the delay

I never updated you on the formal paperwork signing that was scheduled for Monday. Sorry! That meeting got moved to Wednesday. Lucy's birth mom is having more physical complications from the delivery than expected and she's had to go to several doctor's appointments. Please pray for her and her recovery. I know she is in a lot of pain right now physically. I can only imagine dealing with that on top of the emotions from the whole adoption placement as well. Please, pray for her.

Cam and I feel at peace with the paperwork that should be signed tomorrow. We have been texting and chatting over the phone with the birth mom and birth grandma (& great-grandma too for a minute). We feel that they are at peace with the decision at this point. Yay. I'll update when I know for sure about the papers. Until then, continue dreaming of what her sweet little face looks like. I'll share pictures when I know she can stay home for good. :)

Until then we will go back to staring at her, fighting over who gets to hold her, and just relaxing. Life is good right now, my friends. We are enjoying every second of our first born daughter. We know these days won't last so we will savor them. Praise God for the days we've had with her. Keep praying for everything to move forward and that we get many, many more days with her... maybe 18 years worth before she decides to fly the nest!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

pray for tomorrow!!

We are so lucky, blessed, thankful for our beautiful daughter. We are soaking up every minute of her! Pray for us, tomorrow is a big day with our adoption agency. It is when official paperwork will be signed with the birth mom. Pray for lots of peace and healing and guidance. And pray she gets to stay ours forever!!

I will sit down tomorrow and share some more about our little miracle baby. We just love her.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Waking up full of awesome

I read this post today and it made me really happy to have a little girl. I hope she always wakes up full of awesome. Enjoy!

Lucy is cute again today. I think she remembers Cam and I from yesterday and the day before. It's my motherly instincts. They tell me she knows me. We got to spend some time with her today. We get to pick her up around 6 or 7 tonight. Yay!

a visit to see Lucy

Yesterday was rough. We really miss little Lucy and had to spend the day away from her. We got news around 7:00 last night that birth mom would be ok with us visiting. We, of course, ran out the door. We spent around 3 hours at the hospital with the birth mom and little Lucy girl. It was my favorite time we've had through this process.

We got the joys of holding and seeing our baby- AMAZING. She was clean this time, so she looked so beautiful and perfect. The thing that made this visit so wonderful was the quality time we spent with birth mom. We usually see birth mom in a group or at least with her mom present and things are usually busy with lots going on. Well, birth mom usually sits back in groups and is kind of quiet. We always watch and try to read her, but she doesn't say much and we don't have a lot to go off of. Last night it was just us and her and that little girl we all love. We had an amazing visit with her. She was so chatty and it was cracking me up since I don't usually see her like that. She was comfortable with us and silly. She opened up about the whole adoption process and shared so much about her feelings. She and I were crying and I was loving every second of it. It was the kind of conversation that I wanted to remember every single word of so I could refer back to it when I wanted to. The truth is that I don't remember everything she said. I don't even remember half of what she actually said. I did, however, walk away knowing that she loves Lucy, she's happy with her decision to place her for adoption, and she is happy that it is with us. Enough said. I'm overjoyed at the sound of that news.

It was then that I wanted to thank her. I shared part of our process with this adoption and our feelings. We talked about how thankful we are for her and her openness to us and our families. But I couldn't really express how much I just wanted to say thank you. I guess when the time is right it will come out the way I really mean it. She truly is a strong, loving, amazing woman. I admire her very much and God is using her to touch my life in so many ways. Again, my cup runneth over.

I find myself crying a lot these days. I cried before she was born in the days leading up to it. I was just so tired and scared. I cried when she was born because she is perfect and I got to witness a miracle and I loved her so much that it just hurt. I cry now because I miss her and I'm overwhelmed by the thought of her. She is so lovable and precious and I long for the moments of getting to hold her and care for her.

Today is the day. We have an appointment this morning to do some paperwork. We'll go back late this afternoon to pick her up. Today will  be rough again. We keep just trying to stay busy, but there is nothing we want to do but have her. It's going to feel like a long day. I get to see her in three hours from now and that is good enough for now. I'll take what I can get. By the way... her hair is straight after her bath. She has a full head of thick, black hair. I am in love. I will post pictures when she is home for good. Hang in there a little longer. I know you want to see her and I can't blame you. She is gorgeous. I will leave you with this one photo. It will have to do for now. Isn't her hand beautiful!!!?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

baby girl is born

Tuesday night I went to sleep to be ready for a 2 am inducing of our birth mom. I feel asleep easily, which I almost always do, and slept for about 3 hours. I woke up around 1 am to shower and get things ready so that we could go to the hospital a little after 2 since that was when our birth mom was supposed to get there for her induction.

At 3 am we got a call that they still had not settled her into her room but that we could come any time. We waited a little bit and then drove over. After we had parked and walked over there it was about 4:00 am. Once we were there the nurse came in and let us all know that they would not give her pitocin until 7:00. Why in the world was she there at 2? Poor girl, I know she was tired already.

We killed time until 7 when they came in to start her pitocin. Guess what... that tired nurse at the end of her shift said she started it but didn't. We discovered that about an hour later. That was frustrating for everyone. So, at about 8 she got induced. Her contractions got really strong and just a few minutes apart. It was miserable to watch our birth mom in labor. I know she was in so much pain and there is nothing to do to help. It was awful. I couldn't even give her the assurance of how it will all be worth it. That is the kind of thing I would tell my sisters or best friends. I didn't have those words for her and it was really hard. I just prayed for her quietly and sat quietly for most of the time.

It was amazing to watch our birth mom. She is a very laid-back, calm person. She is pretty quiet too. She would be in the middle of a conversation and would just stop talking, close her eyes, and breathe deep during a contraction. I don't think people believed how much pain she was in because of how she was handling herself. I really admired her as I watched.

The day went on and on. Her doctor finally came in at noon to deliver the baby. I watched the whole thing and it was the most amazing experience. As soon as she came out, the birth mom's grandma hugged me hard and said, "that's your baby."It was surreal to watch her come into this world and think about her future days with us. We got to be by her as she got cleaned up and weighed.

Lucy Jane Wisdom was born Wednesday, September 7th at 12:12. She weighs 7 lbs. 4 oz. and she is 19.5 inches long. She has a full head of curly, dark hair (yay!) and she is seriously gorgeous. We will be honored to be her parents. 

I got to feed her first and second bottles. I was so happy to get to do that.

We spent the next few hours holding her and examining her and allowing our birth mom to sleep as much as that tired girl could. The birth family invited our parents to the hospital. Since Cam's dad lives in Palm Springs, he couldn't make it. My parents got to come and see us in the hospital. That was an amazing and generous thing for them to do. We looked at each other in the room holding Lucy and talked about how blessed we are to have be included in that part. It was truly amazing and they didn't have to include us in it. We are so thankful they did.

Then we went home. We said goodbye, walked out of the room, and cried. It was awful. We are home until discharge, which will be today or tomorrow. Our agency is with her now going through things. Hopefully we will know more about when she's leaving the hospital. For now, we just wait.

I will update you with more later. I will post pictures when I feel comfortable to do so.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Day

Here is everything you wanted and didn't want to know about the mundane things I'm doing today.

I have been busy today. I got up and ran with my mom for the last time before I become a mama myself. I will really miss my morning workouts with my mom. They have been something to treasure as I've spent more hours of quality time with her than most people can say they have with their own moms. She's a good marm. We will still work out, but there will be changes and with that comes some inconsistency from the 6 day a week schedule we've been operating on. The run was good this morning.

Next on the list, as usual, was coffee. Sweet, sweet coffee. It makes the world go round.

Then I was off running errands to pick up a few last-minute things I needed today. On my way home from running errands, I took the long way home. I drove slowly, listened to music, praised God for this little girl about to enter my life, and I cried. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Then I potted a few plants for my front porch. They make me happy. I'm sure I'll kill them soon. Cameron refers to me as the "tomato assassin" because I have killed many tomato plants. I don't just stick with tomatoes, I kill all plants equally. Good luck, little flowers. You have to be strong to live here (if you're a plant).

Then I baked these delightful little things. You guessed it, they're scones. I've been making these all summer. We needed some for something later today, so the bonus is that we get to eat them this morning. They are blueberry scones and almond-craisin scones... I bet you're hoping there will be some left when we bring baby girl home so you can have one. Well, there won't be any left. We are feeding 2 boys around here and me and we are good eaters. Plus, some of them are going somewhere else.

The rest of my day will be filled with finishing up a few things in baby girl's room, grocery shopping, and relaxing. The plan is that birth mom will be induced in the middle of the night. We are waiting to find out if they want us there at 2:00 am or if we'll have to go later. We want to be there at 2, so we'll just have to see. I'm going to try to take multiple naps today, even though I really don't like them. I know I need it and it's good for me today, so I'll do it. Hoping to be on the couch with this red blanket, flower pillow, and my book for the next several hours. I must go assume reading position on the couch now. It just so happens to be perfect napping position as well... go figure! Have a lovely day and please continue to pray for us as we get ready for tomorrow.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

5 cm

Well, we found out around 3:00 pm today that our birth mom had been at the hospital for a couple hours. There were unsure of whether or not they would admit her because her contractions were not regular enough. We would be called once they knew if she was staying or not. At 5:30 we found out they are sending her home. Are you serious!? This is driving me crazy.

So she is home and walking. Hopefully. :) So we are making the best of our time and having our hot date we hadn't got around to having. We hope our fancy dinner gets interrupted with an invite to the hospital. Adoption is just different than delivering. We not only have to wait for her to go, but we have to be invited to be there. We have to be wanted. We just continue to pray that we will be wanted because we so badly want to be involved.

We just can't wait. Tonight? Tomorrow? Soon!

Friday, September 2, 2011

making a mess!

Why is it that when my house should be spotless and ready for me to come home with sweet baby girl and not have to lift a finger that it has been turned upside down? Why do I do that to myself. I am cleaning out cabinets, closets, bookshelves, and anything I can get my hands on. I'm anxious for this little life to be born. So, when I'm anxious I make messes. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I just do.

We have been very thankful that God has given peace and comfort in this time. I have been on edge this week (poor Cam) and just frustrated and almost in tears about everything. I trust God and know He has plans for us that we get to see the next part of soon. For that, we can't wait. Thank you for praying. Please keep praying. It was really nice for me to get through the work week. Now if she'd just come on my weekend, it would be oh-so-convenient!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

4 cm but no action

Our birth mom went to the doctor yesterday. She is dilated 4 cm and is 90% effaced. That sounds really exciting, right? Well, she's really not contracting and so there is no action. We will wait.

Tonight I have Back To School Night for my students. I would LOVE to get a call during the presentation and have to leave. That would be awesome. Don't worry, my partner teacher and my long-term sub will both be there, so I wouldn't be leaving the room full of parents.

We keep predicting when it will be and then we get sad when baby girl doesn't come by that point. Are you sick of reading about how terrible it is to wait? I promise to move onto a new topic soon.

Please continue to pray for us. This whole adoption process is not near the end quite yet. Baby girl needs to arrive, then final decisions of the birth parents get made after 72 hours, and then we'll breathe deep. We have a very long, trying road ahead of us that will happen in a relatively short period of time. Please pray for all parties involved that we would have God's peace and comfort, that we would think and speak kindly and with humility, and that we would be flexible to the changes that will inevitably come our way taking us off the plan we have set at this point.

thanks and love you all.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

feeling blessed

We have been so blessed in our lives. I am reminded of that daily. I mean, we are abundantly blessed. There are so many people that have given selflessly throughout our adoption process. Thank you for doing that for us. My cup runneth over.

Monday, August 29, 2011

a watched pot...

never boils. But what if you aren't actually looking at the pot and you are just thinking about it A LOT? Does it matter which one you're doing?

I went to work today. I guess I'll go tomorrow too. I just would really rather go to the hospital. (That's a sentence I wouldn't usually say.)

The boys, Cam and my brother, David, have been helping clean the house. My brother lives with us- fyi. It's amazing how much of a mess I make when I clean. Cleaning out things really gets a disaster going and I'm really bad at getting rid of things. David walked into the office and things were...everywhere. I looked up and said, "I'm cleaning!" He just shook his head and kept walking. He just doesn't understand my process. The result is a beautifully organized office closet filled with coats, craft supplies, and my teaching stuff that can't live in my classroom since I share one. It's a beauty.

Tomorrow's project is continuing to go through the wardrobes (yes, more than 1) that I've received from my darling friends and family. I get to shop through their girls' old clothes and have an incredible stock before baby girl even arrives. I've had the clothes for a while now, but it's a little overwhelming to go through the many, many bags and buckets of them. What a great problem to have. :)

Here's to hoping for some strong contractions tonight!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

no action this weekend

We have been eagerly anticipating baby girl's arrival. Since we thought she was coming early and birth mom was beginning to dilate two weeks ago (at 36 weeks) we have been counting the days and hours and obsessing over the phone ringing. We have worked to make arrangements to be gone from work. The girl that is subbing for my maternity leave has been "on call" for a while now. We have figured out what we would do if I were watching my friend's daughter, which I do three afternoons a week. We have every game plan figured out. We have bags by the front door. Everyone knows the exit plan since the doctor told her that her delivery would be quick.

Well... it looks like I'm going to work tomorrow to begin another week. I have already prepared two weeks of sub plans that I have taught because I was there. I am getting ready to use another one. (grrr... on wasted time and energy) Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I'm so thankful to do something that I truly enjoy. I did not, however, want to be there so I could be holding my daughter instead.

I chatted with birth mom yesterday and she said she's had very few contractions, nothing regular (boo!). I told her I wouldn't mind if she wanted to drink some castor oil to get things moving. She knew I was joking, don't worry! I was kind of joking. :)

This week is filling up fast with plans. It's funny to make plans with people right now, because each plan comes with a "we'll do that if baby girl hasn't arrived yet. If she has then we'll have to come and see you anyways." It's fun, but it's starting to feel like she'll never arrive. I told the birth mom this week that baby girl is teaching me patience already! She said for her too. Birth mom is really uncomfortable.

I'm having dinner with some girls that have adopted and it's crazy how I met each of them completely separately and they turned out to be sisters. On Tuesday, Ally (my best adoption friend) and Adalyn are coming to sort through a bunch of clothes my generous friends and sisters have given me for baby girl. We get to see my step-dad for his birthday and eat dinner with him. I have Back to School Night at work on Thursday. I'm telling you... it's going to be a busy one! I'd love for all these things to happen, but I won't be sad one bit if my slate gets wiped clean due to a baby call. We'll see. Please keep praying; we need it now more than ever.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

waiting... does this ever end?

It's kind of crazy. I have spent a lot of time waiting in my life. I know that's not specific to me as lots of people wait for things. I just know that God has me specifically wait for things. This has been a theme in my life. It can be very challenging and I always hate it. I know, it's a process and I'm refined each time... blah blah blah. :)

Cameron and I have waiting to be parents for three years now. We have been actively working toward parenting for that time. This road has been long. I know there are many women who have waiting far beyond three years for their first baby. I salute them and understand the pain that comes from the unknown, the wait, the heartache. Let's be honest, we're not talking about those women- we're talking about me right now. Three years is a long time to wait for something you've wanted your whole life.

As we wait for our darling daughter to be born these days are creepy by slowly. We thought for sure baby girl would be here by now and each day is long and to be honest, hard. We are so excited but the excitement gets pushed to the side as we deal with uncertainties and fears. We are jumping for joy and in the same breath we are scared to our core that she won't get to come home with us. So, we wait for her arrival. Nothing official can happen until she is in this world for 72 hours. I guess we want her to come for several reasons... I can't wait to hold her and know her. We can't wait to see how this will move forward.

So... we wait. I wish I could say we wait patiently. I have to fight the urge to call our birth mom every day wondering if she's having contractions and how strong are they and when do you think it will be time and how are you feeling about the whole adoption thing and etc etc. Don't worry, I don't do that. I just think about it constantly.

We know that God is good and trust that He knows what is happening in our lives. We just rest in that fact the best we can.

Do you think she's coming today? Maybe tomorrow? Maybe Tuesday on my step-dad and sister-in-law's birthday.

Monday, August 22, 2011

catching up

Well, we have been busy lately. That's no surprise. It's just about the only thing I've shared on here in a long time. It's true, we are busy. It's getting past the point of completely overwhelming and moving into the really exciting kind of busy. I am getting ready for my daughter to come home. It's beautiful. I am so thankful to be busy doing this. There have been many months this last year that I would have given anything to be busy like this. There are years before this last one that I would have done the same. I'm thankful to be so busy.

So... our birth mom is 37 weeks tomorrow. She is still 2 cm dilated but the doctor said that as soon as her contractions become strong it will go quickly. Baby girl is in a great position to just come on out and bless the world. We have anxiously awaiting those contractions to get going. We are excited about her arrival.

I mentioned last week that we had a meeting with the birth parents and birth grandma. Did I mention that we also met their little girl and boy? Oh my goodness- they were adorable! We just watched those two little pumpkins and dreamed about our little girl.

Before our meeting last week I was really beginning to feel discouraged. Going for any period of time without contact allows for doubt to creep in. I definitely let doubt get to me and I was feeling really sad about everything. Adoption is a sensitive situation. At any time, our birth mom could decide that she wants to parent her child. It wouldn't be a crazy thing for her to decide to parent... it would be natural. We have to be prepared for that. Back to last week- we were feeling discouraged and anxious about our meeting. Then we got there and immediately the fears melted away. Praise God! Our meeting was amazing. It was a room full of people talking about how to love baby girl and support her through her life. We talked about how often she'll visit with her birth mom, dad, and grandma (& brothers and sisters).We discussed what WE are naming her. It was a team effort and we are thrilled to have been able to share that joy with them. She got names from us and them and we all agreed they are beautiful. The meeting was perfect.

There have been times that I wanted to call our birth mom to check in but didn't because I was nervous and didn't want her to feel like I was being overbearing or annoying. It was awesome because she told me that she loved hearing from me and wished I'd call more often. Again, my anxiety was eased. Praise God!

We met birth dad for the first time at this meeting. That will obviously be intimidating, but he was so kind and warm. We got the same reassurance from our first introduction that we got from our birth mom back at our match meeting. It was her smile that calmed my nerves back then. It continues to be her smile and his that calm these anxious days.

I know this seems random... go with it. My life is a little random these days. I can't wait to share news of her arrival on here. I anxiously await little girl. I find myself just dying to know when her birthday will be. Do you think this will be the week she'll come? I do.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

meeting today

Our covenant meeting was today with our birth family. I must say that we have an amazing birth family that is a perfect fit for our family. We feel so happy. We feel so blessed. We feel so peaceful about this baby coming into the world and then into our happy home. I have lots of fun little things from our meeting today... but I can't share tonight. Soon... I'll share soon. My cup runneth over.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

postino, birthday, and baby

We have had some very busy and stressful weeks lately. There is quite a bit of stress getting ready for me to be off work, but I have found the source of my stress is really coming from whether or not our sweet baby girl will actually come home with us forever. This fear has been running rampant in my thoughts. I am trying to hold fast to Christ and His undeniable good plans for our lives. It's hard though. I just want it to be over. I know, I know... I'll just be patient.

We have had lots of fun times in the midst of all the stress. I've gone to Postino several times lately. It's one of my favorites to frequent. There is something in the bruschetta that keeps me coming back. We went recently with Bex and Andrew. We love them and it had been far too long since we hung out.

We even sat with boys on one side of the big booth and girls on the other so girls could talk and the boys wouldn't get in our way. 

Yesterday was my birthday. We had pizza and ice cream at home with a few friends. It was perfect. My birthday is my most special day and I look forward to it every year. Now that it has passed I look forward to my half-birthday in February. To know me, is to know that I love my birthday. Don't worry, I'll love yours too. Birthdays are wonderful. I share my bday with my little sis (crazy, huh!). We thought that we might have Baby Girl joining us this year, but sadly, the hours came and went. I guess she'll have her own birthday. To be honest, I think I told someone I didn't want to share my birthday with her. :) That's how much I like my own. I wasn't thrilled when I had to start sharing with my sister years ago. A daughter would have just thrown my birthday out of whack. kidding... kind of. 

Tomorrow we have a meeting at our agency with our birth mom and birth dad. I think birth grandma is coming too. We are really excited because we'll finally get to meet birth dad. At our meeting, we will be setting some guidelines and plans for the future of our relationship. Adoption is really wonderfully strange. We look forward to a future of knowing these people as an extension of our family. We are praying our meeting goes well and that our relationship with them grows and becomes more and more comfortable. We also hope to find out if there has been any progress with her labor. She went to the doctor today, so I can't wait to find out the update. We'll keep you posted!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

thankful for being so blessed

We are truly blessed. I am constantly reminded of God's goodness in our everyday lives. This awareness is only heightened when we are going through something like our adoption. It brings the little things out and makes them pop. Our eyes are wide open to God's work.

This week our old Civic needed a lot of work. This is the car I got when I turned 16 and Cam still drives it. I'm getting ready to have a birthday, which means that I've owned this car for 11 years. It was 4 years old at the time, bringing it's age to 15. That's a pretty old car. She has been faithful and we've been thankful that we haven't "needed" to get rid of her. I love that old thing. She has had some troubles though, which any old car would, requiring us to have to pay lots of money to get her fixed. This expense was unforeseen and came right before we have to pay our adoption agency our large sum of money. You could see how this might seem stressful. Well, Cam had to go to court for work this week and has to go back next week. He is getting enough overtime pay to make a good dent in the car bill. Praise God! The rest of it will turn up. It always seems to turn up somewhere.

We have been given numerous gifts from people for our adoption. Baby girl has received new clothes, "loved" clothes from friends, lullaby CDs, Arbonne baby products, blankets, and more. We are so thankful for the gifts we have been given. Each one lightens our load and fills our cup. We are reminded of God's love and provision with each gift.

I am amazed at how blessed we've been through our fundraising. It's amazing how many of Cam's work buddies have bought chap stick from us. We have been blessed by those purchases made by anyone who has bought one or five. Thank you for doing that. We have more too!! Let me know if you want another. :)

We are hoping to wrap up this part of our adoption and move into the next phase. I am very aware that we are nearing the end of this waiting period, but I am also very aware at how quickly decisions can change. We are thankful to be right where we are. We are also very afraid to lose what we almost have. Please continue to pray with us for these next few weeks. Some people, ourselves included, are getting ready to make some of the biggest decisions of our lives. It's an exciting time but also very sobering.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

busy, stressed, crazy, exciting, exhausting, hopeful...

...these are the things that describe my days lately.

I just started a brand new school year. My kids are, undoubtedly, adorable and I'm so thankful they are happy to be at school. It makes my job so much easier and fun. They definitely require a whole lot of patience. They are kinder kids still and won't be first graders for a little while. They are still maturing and learning how we do things in our new class together. It's a learning process that takes a while, but is well-worth the effort when January rolls around and they basically run themselves. I look forward to that. Work has had me feeling tired, stressed, and hard to prioritize to get all my things done. Do I always feel like this the first week of school? probably...

Due to the amount of patience that is required of me at work (let me remind you: it's a lot!) my poor husband has been getting the me that has run out of patience. I think I've been hard to live with this week. It's a good thing he loves me and knows that it's my first week of school. He's been great this week and I don't know what I would do without him. :)

We got a call from our agency yesterday letting us know that our birth mom had a doctor visit and she is dilated to 2cm. The doctor said that baby girl could come at any time. Birth mom will be 36 weeks soon and she only carried her last kiddo to 37 weeks. The reality of how soon this is happening has begun to hit me. My house is a disaster and it's just grungy. I want to rip everything open and clean everything out. I want every closet organized and cleaned out. It has been hard coming home to my house that feels like a project I don't have time for. Another thing we wanted to do before baby girl comes is paint our house. It's not looking promising, unless some wonderful friends want to come help us paint... any takers?

I know that being dilated 2 cm could still mean a couple weeks, but it might not. Baby girl could come at any time now. I danced around the house like a fool when I got that phone call yesterday. I just can't wait to meet this little peanut. I now need to focus on getting from here to baby with my house & car cleaned out. I also need to prepare my sub plans for our awesome, long-term sub, Jenne. All I have to say is this:  teaching has to be in the top 3 jobs that it is hardest to be gone from for maternity leave & praise God that I am only working half time. Full time maternity leave would be terrible.

One more baby note: we got our hospital plan and found out some details about the birth. Our gracious birth mom wants to give us the opportunity to be present for the birth, so Cameron and I get to be in the delivery room. There are even plans that Cameron will get to cut the cord and I get to be the second person to hold her, right after her birth dad. These plans could change in an instant if she decides, but we are thankful that we are included at this point. Not only does it make us feel included, give us the benefit and privilege of being at her birth, and make us happy... it also helps us feel secure in what is going on. It helps us know that right now, she still knows that it's better for sweet baby to be raised by us. That little reassurance goes a long way in this crazy life we are leading right now. Please keep praying for us and for our daughter's health. Pray for birth mom and dad as they decide to let go of their darling little girl.

Stay tuned- we think baby girl will be here soon and you wouldn't want to miss it!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

new beginnings

This is the time of year that things begin anew at work. We have new kids coming tomorrow for their first day of school. We have new crayons, new folders, new classrooms all ready to go for making new friends. For me there is also a new beginning coming. I am going to work to prepare to be gone. It's a really special time for me as I get ready to welcome a new beginning of being a mom. I am as ready for work tomorrow as I will be, because I never feel completely at peace with my preparation ahead of time.

My friend, Ally, just got to take home her sweet baby girl yesterday. We just had Whit & Ally over a few weeks ago for our celebration dinner of one year of friendship on this crazy ride. Cam and I will go meet their daughter tomorrow night. This is a new beginning. Ally is a mom now and that begins the changes in our friendship. We will soon be talking about little girls. We'll talk about the crying and this time we'll be referring to our daughters and not ourselves.

Things are changing and that's a good thing. We are busy, healthy, stressed, happy, and scared. We are ready for our next new beginning.

This week I talked with birth grandma on the phone for about an hour. She is very sweet and is a great supporter of this adoption and our relationships growing as two families. She is also a wealth of knowledge, so it's amazing to have her as a resource. I also got a phone call from our agency with the hospital plan & details. The birth parents have talked with the agency about when and how we'll be involved at the hospital. At this point we will both be in the delivery room when baby girl comes into this world! We are really excited about the family's willingness to have us there. Anything can change, but we are thankful for their openness to us.

Here's to a new school year and other beginnings!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

i love being "on hold"

It feels great to be seen as this on our agency's website:

Family 512 - Cameron and Kim
Thank you for taking some time to read about us and get to know us a little bit. We have been praying for you and your baby for months now. We hope the Lord is guiding you during this time and we look forward to hopefully spending time with you in the future... (read more)

"On Hold" in this way is something that makes my heart sing. Sometimes that phrase can mean something not as wonderful. It feels awesome to be matched with a birth family and feel like our daughter is truly coming soon. I long to hold our sweet baby girl soon. Then we will disappear from the website until baby girl turns 1. 

back to school

Well, the summer is officially over. I am going back to work. I must admit there is a little bit of sadness that comes with saying goodbye to complete freedom and no schedule. It's been nice to read several books this summer, take naps occasionally (i usually hate naps), see Cam anytime he's home from work, play with nieces and nephews, and get some things done in our nursery. I will miss the endless hours of goofing around my house for sure.

Going back to work is always exciting too. I like my job so it's not devastating to go back to it. I get new pumpkins in just a few days. The kids are so worth it. I get to be back with friends and back into a routine. Did you know I LOVE myself a routine? It's true. I adore sameness and predictability. Going back to work is a little different this year. I am going back to work so that I can get ready to be gone from work on maternity leave. This is an amazing feeling. I will be there long enough to get everything organized and up & running. Then I will leave it in the hands of Christina and a fabulous long-term sub that will do both of our maternity leaves this year. Work is exciting for me right now. :)

We haven't talked with our birth mom since I spent the day with her on Friday. We are trying to give her a little space so she doesn't feel smothered or pressured. We do have plans to call them soon and try to go grab a bite to eat so we can meet the birth dad. Birth grandma called last night to chat a while and an hour later we said goodbye. It was realllllly nice to chat with her. It reassured me of what we are doing and how they are feeling about it. It's awesome to be building community within our families before baby girl gets here. We are feeling pretty blessed right now.

PS. Cam has tried to hold off from getting too excited about the whole thing, because we've been hurt by situations in the past. A few days ago he's started to get really excited about becoming a dad to this baby girl. It has become more real and more comfortable that it will be happening with this situation. It's been so fun to dream about what she will look like and what things we want to teach her.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

more about friday with the birth family

It's been a crazy week. Thank you to all that sent emails, texts, and messages. Thank you to anyone that has been praying for us. Please keep it up!

I had such a great time getting to know our birth family on Friday. I am thankful for the time I had with them and look forward to more time together. It was funny because on Friday I was definitely in the hot seat. They wanted to know more about me that they didn't know. They asked how we planned to handle different aspects of the adoption. They wanted to know names that we had picked out. I just kept answering them the best I could and then thought, "I have no clue if that what you wanted to hear, but that's the truth so I hope you like it."

A match meeting is like a job interview but way worse. It's like a first date that you are really into and you have no idea if they even think you're cute. Well, it took them 2 weeks to decide they wanted a "2nd date" with us. We are all committed to each other at this point, but it still isn't final until relinquishment paperwork is signed and that cannot happen until 72 hours after birth of the baby (at the earliest). There will probably always be a little bit of caution we use when talking with them. Things feel really comfortable though, which I think is a really good sign. We look forward to moving further into our relationship with them.

It sounds like they want the adoption to be really open. We do too. I think the sound of "open" can freak people out at first. It did with us too. A year ago we would have told you we wanted more of a closed adoption with minimal contact. After taking classes, reading books, talking with others we will tell you now that it doesn't scare us for them to have visits with us. It doesn't bother us one bit that they want to be part of her life. It doesn't make us nervous that they love her a lot already. In fact, we are thrilled about these things. We know how amazing it can be for our baby to have access to her birth family. It can be healing for baby and birth family to know that the other is growing and well. It gives us an opportunity to love God's people. The benefits far out-weigh the negative aspects.

We believe that we are called to this ministry of adoption. We look forward to building relationships with people that are connected to our children by blood. We will navigate those waters as they come up and will have to rely on God for strength to get through it. We are excited about having a very strange and uncommon relationship. Isn't God great!? Clearly this is not us talking from our own strength, but rather His encouragement that our lives can impact a whole family of people.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Big Week!

This week has been: tiring, scary, exciting, encouraging, , wonderful, etc. etc. etc.

Wednesday we got a call from the pregnancy counselor. She told us that the birth mom we met that wanted more time to think and consider her decision wanted to match with us. She said that she definitely wants to place for adoption and she loved us. What? Did that just happen? Yes. It did.

Recap: We had that wonderful match meeting 10 days prior and thought this was our dream come true, happily ever after with a birth family. Then we waited and waited and waited. Then we got news that she was struggling with the decision to place for adoption. Then we found out she does want to place for adoption with us. Yay!

After getting that news we were in disbelief. We were also very guarded. We already felt hurt by the situation because we want this so badly. It took a lot of processing and talking about it with each other. Cameron and I spent time reading the Bible together and trying to wrap our heads around it. For us to match with this birth family means that we have to be vulnerable again, which felt scary since we knew the decision has been hard on them.

Before I go any further I'd like you to consider how huge this decision is for this family. They are deciding to choose another set of parents to raise their child. Of course that is hard for them and they have every right to struggle through that. They even have every right to decide to parent her when she comes into this world. That would, of course, be devastating for us but it's the truth and we're being honest here. 

Moving on with the story... we decided to match and move forward with this family. Then they invited me to a girls day out with the family so they can get to know me better. Cam wasn't allowed to get his toes painted with us!

I spent the day with birth mom, birth grandma & great grandma, & birth mom's little sisters (so I guess aunts, but they are really young.) We went and got pedicures. Then we went and ate a huge lunch and dessert at Applebee's. Then we went for coffee at Starbucks. When we headed out to get coffee I called Cam and he met up with us. We also got to meet birth grandpa for coffee too. (We didn't meet birth dad since he was at home with the two little ones while birth mom got to have a girls day out.) The whole day's events took about 6 hours. It was an amazing day.

We talked about what things will look like when baby girl is here. I heard countless stories about the baby's big brothers and sister and what they were like as infants. I heard family back grounds and things that are important to them. I learned about what birth mom's other pregnancies have been like. We chatted about traveling, church, movies, football (that was more Cam than me), walking/exercising, and anything else that came up. Today was a good day. We love that we are getting to know these people that will be where our child has come from and that she'll grow up knowing them too. There are so many people to love this baby. There's so much I could say about today, but this is long. If you're still reading- thank you for hanging in there.

Today was a great day.

So, friends, get ready. We are expecting our baby girl in a few short weeks. She is due September 13th, but will more likely come a few weeks early since this has been the trend with the other two little ones.