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.