Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Rocks, The Hard Places, The Frying Pans, And The Fires.

Yes, that is my long-haired fur baby, Sweetpea, in the corner. 
A lot is going on in our life right now. My job changes, fridge is acting up, struggling to find balance in our life as a married couple.  And if that wasn't enough, we discovered that the job I'm going to be starting in less than a week and a half, doesn't give maternity leave for those adopting.  Period. 

I would have to take MFLA, which means a minimum of 6 weeks of no pay.  That's a lot to take in.  Not only do we now need to save for the adoption itself, which could be anywhere from between $9,000 to $35,000, we also need to figure out how to save up a minimum of 3 paychecks (thinking of a biweekly pay schedule).  When you think of that, that's a LOT of money.  That is almost 2 paychecks worth of money. 

And honestly, I broke down.  Why does this have to be so hard?  Why can't we just be able to get pregnant?  Teenagers, drug addicts, and people who don't want children seem to get pregnant so easily, why can't we?

My mood didn't help my husband.  We are both struggling with the idea of my pay changes, change of schedule, and now the news about what extra money we will have to save.  Knowing all of this, knowing that it might take a whole lot longer than we expected to be able to become parents hurts honestly.  And it is hard to keep that hope that we will one day have children alive. 

On Monday (which is when HR told us that lovely news), my friend KL had sent Mike & I a gift.  We had opened the package, saw it's lovely contents, but didn't go further with it.  Until this morning. 

We have had a hard two days.  And looking at the Adoption Encouragement Jar (I'll post an entry later next week about our lovely jar), I felt the need to open it.  I need encouragement today.  Mike needed encouragement today.  I didn't know if what I would pick out of the jar would help, but it couldn't hurt.  And this is what it said (for those who can't read the words in the picture):

"Adoption is hard. 
Don't be afraid of something because it looks impossible. 
That is how God most easily shows His might;
by presenting you an opportunity to glorify Him,
then carrying you through it, and by leaving your testimony for the benefit of all."

Wow.  It hit the spot.  Adoption is hard.  A lot harder than I ever thought it would be.  And in some ways, I feel it shouldn't be hard (This is where Mike and I differ.  He feels that if it is worth doing, it should be hard.  I think we will continue to agree to disagree on that matter).  But that little scrap of paper is right.  By it being hard, by our struggles, others will know that they can get through the rocks, the hard places, the frying pans, and the fires.

To make things better, another friend, BE who is at the middle of their family's adoption process (They have the child, just waiting on TPR), called to tell me of the lawyer she had found. The price of the lawyer and home study was the lowest cost I had heard of yet. 

And it gives me hope.  Maybe we can do this.  Maybe it won't be so hard as it feels right now.  Maybe, just maybe, it will all be alright. (Hey, I'm not an optimist!  That is as good as you are going to get :0P).

So I want to encourage you today, just as I have been encouraged.  Take whatever struggle you have today, and make it an opportunity.  I can't promise it will be easy. I know it isn't.  But when we look back on these moments, how can we not be surprised and delighted that we survived with stories to tell and help others survive. 


Monday, June 27, 2016

Dum Spiro Spero

Create and Print T-Shirts - T-Shirt Designs tagged with 'south ...:
The South Carolina state motto.  My home state, and a quote that I frequently use.  While I breath, I hope.  This is inspiring, because every time you take a breath, there should be hope.

I hope for a lot.  I hope for my job change to go smoothly.  I hope that we can save & raise all the money we need for the adoption.  I hope that our wait for our child will not be too overly long.  I hope for a large family, with many children running around and the sounds of laughter filling our house.  I hope. 

In scripture, we are told,  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).  Right now, there is a lot of unseen in my life. And all I have is hope.  But sometimes it seems like hope isn't enough.  Sometimes we have to have a physical reminder, something that we can see, touch, smell, or even hold to keep hope in our hearts. 

Sometimes it is something simple.  A charm on your necklace (I have a charm that reminds me to be fearless... Something I struggle with at times), a particular wall hanging, or a box filled with things you hope to one day use. 

I have the beginnings of a hope chest for our future child.  It isn't much.  A crocheted hat, a blanket with koalas on it, and some wall hangings.  I am also redoing the room that will one day be the place our child sleeps.  We are going to have leaves all over the floor (In my head, it looks amazing!  when it is done, I'll definitely post pictures). But I'm responding in hope for something that I can't see, touch, or smell. 

And one day, that hope will be fulfilled. 

So no matter where you are in your journey, and as you follow our adoption journey, that you will keep the hope. 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Its a Crazy Life

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent" 
Victor Hugo

For those who know me, you know how much music plays in my life.  If there is a moment in my life whether happy, sad, discouraging or invigorating, I will generally have a song for it.

Today has been one of those days that I have needed music to get me through the day.  So I thought I'd share one of the songs that helped me through today.

If all the stuff with preparing for the adoption wasn't enough, today I did another life changing decision.  I put in my 2-weeks notice at my job, and accepted another job.  I held my current job for little less than a decade.  But with my current company being sold, we felt that it was no longer a stable enough job for me not to start looking.  And if you seek, you will find.

But the total chaos of it all is more than how long I had been there or the friends that I had made.  It is the change.  It wasn't easy to make this decision, but I'm stepping out in faith that we made the right decision.

Now, it is remembering that no matter how crazy things are, just breathe.  It won't necessarily change the circumstances or make everything miraculously better. But it does help me find my center.

So go forth into this crazy life.  And when it gets too much, just breathe and find your center.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I Would Walk 500 Miles, and I would walk 500 more...

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Because I needed a cup of tea #muglife #teamakeseverythingbetter

This is the verse I keep telling myself every day.  It is what I marinate on when I wake up, through the day, and until I close my eyes (yes, I did just used the word marinate to describe how I much I think of this verse).  I have actually had a dream before where I was reciting it, so I obviously think about this verse a lot.

This has been my life verse since I discovered it in my freshman year of college.  During that time, I was far away from home (by choice), I felt abandoned by the home church that I had grown up in, and I hadn't found my niche yet in college or in the big city of Columbia.  And then I read this verse, and it wasn't like I miraculously felt better, but things started to change.  I remembered that I wasn't alone.  And I made friends, found a local church to attend, and Columbia started to feel like home.

So what does this verse have to do with adoption? 

Well, adoption is a journey.  Not necessarily a physical one, but it is definitely an emotional and spiritual journey.  And it isn't an easy one.  For me, it is hard, not necessarily because of one factor or another.  It is the wait.  No one likes the wait on a journey.  It just isn't fun.  "Are we there yet?" is the constant refrain from just about every child on a trip, and sometimes it is no different for me on this journey.  "Do we have the funds yet?" "Do we have all the paperwork ready?" "Where are our W2s?!?!", etc, etc, etc (hahaha, a King and I reference!).

Where does the worry, the stress, and the overall impatience end?

It ends every time I remember this verse.  It keeps reminding me, that though we haven't reached our destination, we aren't alone.  God is with us, every step of the way, guiding us towards our child.  When the time for this journey comes to a close, what we have learned about ourselves & our God will only help us to become more of what we are called to be.

No journey is easy, but the destination is well worth it.

So here is to the journey!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Let Our Journey Begin

“The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.”
— The Doctor, Season 5, Episode 12

This is a quote from my favorite tv show, Doctor Who.  It's about an alien that has a time machine/space ship that travels around the universe and saves it.  Along the way, he picks up various companions to travel with him. 

You are probably wondering what that has to do with adoption.  Maybe not much at all, but honestly, its the quote that I keep thinking about as we start this very early process in the adoption journey.  Our big world is becoming more complicated and ridiculous, but we are looking for the rare impossible thing that we call a miracle: our child. 

People all over have been asking us, "why not try IVF?" or "You haven't been trying long enough."  "You should keep trying."  "Are you giving up on having children of your own?" 

The frustrated, hurting woman inside my heart wants to cry, yell, and scream at those questions.  "You don't know what we have been going through the 9 months that we've been trying.  What's so wrong about adopting?  There are thousands of children that need parents, why can't we be one of them?" and so many other thoughts go through my head at those questions.  But I just smile and say that this is what we feel lead to do, and we have considered all our options, and we appreciate all their suggestions (And yes, sometimes inside my head, I stick my tongue out at them and give them a big mental raspberry).

The truth of the matter is, we feel lead to adopt.  

We are starting out small.  We are having to gather up at the funds to even start the adoption process, as well as continue to save and raise the money to continue through the process and finalize the adoption.  It is a lot of work, and it possibly will be a lot of money, but I think this miracle will be worth it. 

I truly believe that adoption is a miracle.  The impossible thing that will come into our ridiculous and complicated world.  We are just having to wait.  You can't force miracles.  They aren't something that can be push to happen (try as we might). 

So in the words of the 10th Doctor (And really, if you don't know Doctor Who, just ask Mike or me about it, and we will explain this better to you.), Allons-y!  The Brown family adoption journey awaits us!