Sunday, July 9, 2017

Seedlings

Image result for cycle of a plant

Today as I type this, I have to admit it has been a rough past month. I have been sick, hospitalized, and had surgery (which I am currently recovering from). Through it all, we have continued to figure out how to save for the adoption, how to continue to follow the path that God has laid before us.


I wish I could say that I feel stronger, emotionally/mentally/spiritually, in regards to our path. But I don't feel that I am. I think I spend more time crying and praying that somehow this journey would be closer to the final goal. I sometimes wonder why it has to be so hard.

And sometimes I wonder if we have misunderstood God's plan.

Am I willing to give up? NEVER!

Do I wish it was easier? ABSOLUTELY!

But for any goal, there must be a struggle for growth. There must be pushing, a pulling, a struggle. Like the plant growing in a garden, there is struggle for sunshine from the dark ground, and there is a desire and a need for that sunlight. It knows it is there, even though it can't see it yet, but the sun is there shining down just waiting for that beautiful plant to pop from the soil.

Right now, I feel like that plant that is trying to reach the sunlight. I feel that struggle.

And I know that I am not the only one struggling today. Probably a part of it is all the stress from my illness catching up on me. But what I do know is that if you are struggling today, know that you aren't alone. I am here, right along side you, trying to reach our sunshine.

So as you try to reach your own sunshine (no matter what or who that might be), may you reach it. Find the courage, the strength, and the hope to continue on. And know that I am cheering you on.

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Being On The Edge of Hope and Hopelessness



So, I don't know if you are watching The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu, but I am.  For those not familiar with this story, it is in a future where pregnancies are few and fewer still are those who make it full term.  There have been wars, and the US no longer exists, but rather a country call Gilead (a Theocracy) is in its place.  In a place where the Old Testament rules and women are property with no rights or abilities, it is a bleak existence for any one, but it is worse for the handmaids: Forced into a life of being used for their ability to conceive, for the benefit of the leadership of Gilead.  

Now, why am I talking about this on the blog?  Well, it was really the season finale that got me, and I knew I needed to share.  *I promise to try not give any spoilers for those who want to watch still can without fear.* 

It was at the beginning of the episode, and Serena Joy has forced Offred to take a pregnancy test.  And then Serena Joy takes that pregnancy test, gets on her knees and prays to God that it is positive.  

I know it doesn't sound like much, but watching that scene, I was sobbing.  I remember feeling that way with pregnancy tests.  Worse yet, I know that feeling right now in our adoption.  That feeling of being on the edge of hope and giving up hope.  Like wanting to cry and vomit and laugh and run away, all in a single moment.  There is no other feeling like it, and it is the worst feeling ever.

Right now I'm feeling this way, because I just experienced my first real health crisis ever.  I was actually admitted to the hospital for a few days, and am now on the road to recovery.  But that puts a hold on trying to save money for the adoption from our paychecks, because now we will have a hospital bill and an ER bill to pay.  

I can't help but feel that every time we take a step forward in this, we get shoved back another 5.  There are days where I feel like we've made no progress at all.  And there are days where I feel like all I am doing is crying, praying, asking God to give us a child. 

It's such a fine line, but giving up means saying good by to the dream of being a mother.  And maybe, where I am today is where you are struggling with your own dream.  It might not be motherhood that is your dream.  It might be a great job, or having a spouse.  It might be your dreams of travel or you dreams of stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something crazy.  I don't know where you are, but if you are on the fine line of hope and hopelessness, don't give up.  

It's hard for a reason, because the outcome will be worth the pain.  

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

When Loss Is Part Of The Story

Warning:  This is a post that has been sitting in my drafts for over a month.  At first, I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this, as it is raw and emotional (I can't even read it without crying).  But I realized that there are others who are experiencing the same thing right now and need to know that they are not alone.  As you read this, know that you are not alone.  


"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy." Psalm 30:11

Everyone talks about loss in adoption, in regards to that first feelings when you realize biological children aren't in God's plan for you.  But another part of loss in adoption, and that is a subject that few people talk about. It is that moment when you have been chosen by a family and it falls through for whatever reason.  

In January, we had been contacted by a family about adopting two children, and we were so excited.  We got our homestudy, we told our family and some close friends.  We told our church.  We knew that we were on our way to growing our family. 

And then right before Easter, it was over. 

I knew when we decided to adopt that we might experience this, but when it happened, it was so much harder to deal with the hurt than I imagined.  Maybe it was because we had already met the children.  Maybe it was because we had started to prepare rooms, gather decor, and get a few miscellaneous things like books/activities for the children.  Maybe it was because we had to tell everyone that this wasn't going to happen, that we were having to start over.

I will be honest, I still can't tell this story without tearing up.  I mean, I had prepared my heart to be these children's mother, and then it was all gone.  Several of my good friends told me it was just like a miscarriage, without the hormonal aspects.  Though I've never had a miscarriage, I can't imagine the loss of a child beyond my own experience.  And it has been, and is excruciating.

How do you heal and pick yourself back up again to risk this loss?  How do you deal with the looks from people when you have to tell them that the adoption fell through and you are working on the next step of starting over? And how do you not blame yourself, even though everything is out of your hands when it comes to this?

And I don't have a good answer for any of it, as there are no perfect answer.  We are still picking up the pieces and we are still working on being ready to be able to adopt (whenever that should happen).  And we will keep working on the adoption, until God shows us that we need to stop.

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Sunday, May 14, 2017

To All Those Waiting, Happy Mother's Day



For those of us that are waiting, it is a hard day. In a lot of ways, we are the ones that feel forgotten, lost in the midst of all those who are blessed to have children.  And at times, the hurt and jealousy we feel to those who have children, that didn't seem to struggle like you or have lost children like is hard to ignore.  

Trust me, I'm right there with you.  And it hurts like nothing I can truly describe. 

The fact that I have sat in my car and cried after walking through the grocery store and seeing all the "Don't Forget Mother's Day" signs over the bakery and all the cards, shirts and gifts.  I have avoided Facebook, because everyone is posting their things about how they are such great mom's and all the things that their kids have brought home from school in honor of this annual holiday of honoring mothers.  

It probably doesn't help that our adoption fell through just a few weeks ago.  I'm still feeling that loss, and Mike & I are trying to heal from it.  

But today of all days can be hard, yet, we need to find hope.  Though I don't have children, I am preparing my heart to be a mother to whoever God blesses our family with.  Though I would love for it to happen today (You know, God, can you just put the child on our door step with a sign that says "Hi! I'm your child"?  I mean, I like clear understandable signs and miracles), I am trying my best to learn to wait in hope.

And I will be honest, it is easier to write those words than it is to remember this, to do this, every day.  But here is what you do.  Love on your spouse.  Take a walk.  Redecorate your house.  Decorate that room that will be where your treasures will sleep once you get them.  Volunteer somewhere.  Find things that will make you happy.  And NEVER give up that hope  that you will be a mother.

Happy Mother's day to you, my waiting friends.

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He Is Risen



Image result for Religious Easter
From Our Crayon Box to Yours,
HAPPY EASTER!!!!!

Mike & Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Stress Like No Other







So I know I haven't been posting as consistently of late.  I've been slacking on the blog mostly because of stress about the adoption.  And there is a lot that has gone into us just trying to adopt (and we haven't even finished yet).

First we decided to adopt, and had to start raising/saving the money.  Talk about hard.  With the average adoption costing $25,000+, it can be a hard pill to swallow when trying to figure where the money will come from.

Then we had the homestudy.  The You-Must-Be-Perfect investigation into your life. Clean the house, pray the cats don't do something stupid, dress nice, pay for tons of background checks and get multiple letters about your character NOTARIZED.  And then you have to wait for everything to be checked with a fine tooth comb and wait to be approved to adopt.

Which, YAY, we are now approved adopt!

Now that we have passed, we have officially reached what I consider the hardest part of the adoption.  Getting the child/children.  We have to wait for the children, we have to then wait to have them placed.  If the parental rights haven't been terminated, then we have to wait for that.  Then we have to wait for us to legally and officially be declared by a court of law that we are parents of whatever children we are given.  I'm sure some of you are thinking that this can't be that stressful.  But for me, it is the fact that we are now waiting on others, not Mike and I, to get us where we need to go.

I actually had someone say that if I'm this stressed about about adoption, then we need to reconsider adoption because children will just make life more stressful. The thing is, adoption is unlike any other form of growing a family.  There is no timeline, there is now due date.  There is the constant waiting, hoping, praying that your children come home as soon as possible.  And some days there is the gnawing ache where you wonder if you will ever get to go and pick up your children, take them home, and just hold them.  

And I ache for that moment.  I stress out that the moment hasn't arrived yet, and that it might be far off in the future.

So, for everyone out there, whatever you are going through, whatever you stress out about, and however you figure out how to deal with it, take hope!  We aren't alone in our burdens, and we only have to reach out to those we love to realize that we are going to make it.

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Today is the Day To Partially Celebrate

So today is a day to partially celebrate.  Why partially celebrate? 


Because we got our official home study, completed and approved!  So now we can legal start an adoption process in the state of SC. 

It's awesome! It's amazing!  It lifts a bit of stress off our shoulders, because this means that there is legal proof that we are approved to be parents.

And yet, I still want to cry in exhaustion and discouragement.  We are facing a long journey, one that won't necessarily be finished in the next few months.  I mean, it has been almost a year since we announced our intentions to adopt, and we only just got our homestudy completed.  

I'm tired, and I'm hoping and praying that everything else in this process will go off without a hitch, but in reality, adoption doesn't always work the way our society portrays it. One of my friends, who has been trying to adopt for almost 10 years, compared adoption to be like being pregnant for years straight without a child.  The up and downs, the stress (and this is not normal stress), and the constant what ifs of adoption will drive you crazy if you let it.

So today, we are going to celebrate a little.  And then, later, when we finally reach the finish line, and hold our children in our arms, we will celebrate a lot!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons