Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Year's Worth of Thankfullness

I'm sitting here getting ready to write a reflection of 2014 with one day left in the year. I am shocked to think that the year of 2014 is almost over.

We rang in the new year last year driving home from a ski trip to Colorado with the gang (see below). 

Mkini, Adam, me, Maggie, Casey in Keystone, CO

It was so shortly after returning home, that that little voice—the holy spirit—began whispering ideas of adoption in our ears. My first thought was no, no, we'll adopt after we have our own kids (I was so naive back then). My plan (of course) was to get pregnant in a couple months and we'd be starting our family. 

First of all, LOL. I'm laughing out loud just thinking about it. This is why I shouldn't try to make plans. But yet I always do.

We spent most of January 2014 researching and talking to everyone we knew that was currently adopting, or had adopted. We met with a few couples from church. And sent in our application on the last day of January with an agency that I had heard rave reviews from. You know how that turned out...see next paragraph. 

We withdrew our application with our first agency in February and began working on starting over and finding a new agency. Though there were hardships, (like thinking maybe we weren't supposed to be adopting?!), I'm extremely thankful that everything with our first agency happened when it did. No clue what I'm talking about? Refer back to the February posts.

We finally submitted our application to Bethany in April, after numerous meetings folks there (we were making sure this was our agency this time). 

May through August was all about the home study Meetings and meetings and meetings (and meetings!). It's still weird to think about that time being past us, since it was such important step at the time. 

August to now has been spent on getting our fees together and the dossier, which is still moving along, slowly but surely. 

It's crazy to think that a year ago we weren't on this journey, and then one day, poof, God says "go."

Each and every day, I thank God that he put this adoption on our hearts. Because I know, know, that our son or daughter is on this earth already. And just knowing that I get to be his or her mother is just amazing to me. Like, it's planned out. God already knows. That is just so cool to me.

In those same moments of thankfulness, I pray that he continues to give us patience and trust in Him. Because we know that this is our plan. No matter how long it takes or how hard it is. This is the plan that was created for us.

Our God is such an awesome God. And answering to him is also awesome.

Cheers to 2015. What an amazing adventure we've started out on. I can't wait to see how it turns out. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

High Five for Friday

Happy week before Christmas! I can't believe it's next week. Which means that 2015 is in another week after that. Crazy. It was a great week, and of course, I'm so happy it's Friday!

1. We did some serious house reno this week. I'm talking serious—like, we've never worked this fast. It's taken us three days (two together, one where Adam was flying solo) to get all the plaster out of the kitchen. For a fun comparative, it took us two months to get the laundry room gutted. Granted, that was in the summer. And if you know one thing about the summer, it's that it's hot. And dust + sweat doesn't lend the most perfect ending. Regardless of the season, getting the plaster out off the walls is the worst part.

2. I finally made an appointment to get my hair trimmed up. Nothing major, just a trim. It has been a few months, so it needed it. Bad. There's just something about a little trim that makes you feel fresh. Not like fresh, but you know, fresh. 

3. This week we had our small group Christmas party. It pretty much entailed delicious food and Christmas movie quizzes. For the record, my Home Alone knowledge is on point, and my Christmas Vacation knowledge is, er, less on point.

4. This weekend is chocked-full of family Christmas'. We have my extended family Christmas, my best friend family (and basically my family) Christmas, and Adam's family Christmas. It's one of those weekends where you have a lot going on in a little bit of time. It will be fun. It's still hard to believe that it's Christmas next week, have I mentioned that yet?

5. Adam's brother is finishing up with his first semester of grad school and is coming to stay with this weekend. We're excited to see him and hang out with him over the holidays. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Status Update

It's time again for a status update!

Not much has changed.

We're still working on our Dossier, i.e. putting together that last fee. Well, last for now. Remember all of those documents we needed for our Dossier (refer to this post for a reminder)? Well, we've got a few of them taken care of. The others are quick, like, "stop in and we'll type it up" type of quick.

So we really haven't bothered to get those right now, because we need that last fee.

Like the rest of this journey, God has blessed us with complete peace with His timing. I think it also helps that have a small house remodel going on in the background to keep us busy. Here's to praying that we stay at peace with His timing down the road.

We just filled out what is called a Service Plan with Bethany. Basically, it went over the gist of things:

  • Age Range: 0-5 years
  • Gender: Either
  • Siblings: Open to a sibling set of two

We were also asked for the first time our openness to meeting and/or communicating with our child's birth parents or caregivers (which we are very open to). We hadn't really talked about it before, especially since it's less likely than if we were adopting within the United States.

There's your update! As of right now, we're working on saving up to pay our Dossier fee. And yes, we still have puzzle pieces.

Friday, December 12, 2014

High Five for Friday

It's Friday again. Yes. I hope you had a great week. Fridays make all bad weeks better, right? Not that I had a bad week, but Friday is just that little beam of hope.

1. Adam was out of town again this week, working. It made for a few melodramatic days for me at the house. Nellie and I didn't do much except catch up on laundry and sleep. Zzzzzz.

2. My team at work had it's Christmas party at a restaurant in town called Wallaby's. It's been here a while, but just reopened at a new location, and it's awesome. We also did a white elephant gift exchange (obviously), and everyone left with a pretty good gift. You know sometimes there are white elephant gifts that are funny and useful, some that are funny and not useful, and some that aren't funny or useful. Most everything was funny and useful. Success! I left with a set of hippo salt and pepper shakers. There are the most adorable things ever

3. Today is my niece, Sofia's 3rd birthday. She is so sweet and I love her.

4. The weather this week has been a pleasnt break from the frosty temps we left before vacation from. It's an extra easy transition when we don't have to scrape our windows in the morning.

5. This weekend, I'm looking forward to just spending some time around the house. It's nice after a long time away to just soak it all in. Am I right or am I right?

How was your week? Let me know!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hey, There

So you've probably noticed by now that this blog really isn't always about our adoption. I mean, don't get me wrong, a good, strong portion of it is. But you know, sometimes, there are just crickets on the adoption front. I'll get to that later. Sometimes, I just like writing out my thoughts blogging.

Today is one of those days. If you are in the business of reading only about our adoption. This is your cue to direct to another website.

Adam and I just got back from a 10 (ten?!) day vacation. We left the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to go down to Missouri to stay with family and eat. It was tough to explain to our almost-three-year-old niece that we were going to Disney. Upon packing up the remainder of our bags, she grabbed her tiny pink backpack (swoon!) and told us she was coming with, to the tune of, "I don't care about my mommy and daddy, I want to see Mickey!"  Uhhh, shoot.

We left on Saturday morning, which just happened to by my darling husband's 27th birthday(!!) to make the eight-hour trek to Birmingham, Alabama. There were a couple different reasons we wanted to stop by Birmingham. One being the Iron Bowl. That age old rivalry of Alabama or Auburn? Heidi or LC? Chicken or fish?

Okay, enough. So we watched the game in Birmingham, which was awesome. Roll Tide. We strolled (drove) downtown to see some stuff and find coffee. I felt like I couldn't go to a Starbucks in a town like Birmingham (I just couldn't, no explanation), so I yelped to find an answer. We found a coffee shop that was close to where we were driving and stopped. And oh my word it was THE BEST COFFEE I'VE EVER TASTED. It was called Revelator Coffee Company, which was kind of a weird, modern, not-my-style place, but dang that coffee was GOOD.


We peaced-out of Birmingham around 10 that morning and were off to visit Weaver, Adam's home town. We drove by his old house and had lunch with some family friends. I could have stayed and listen to their southern accents (+ ate the food) for days.

From Weaver, we drove the six-hour drive to Savannah. We got in late Sunday night and just went to bed. In the morning, we drove to Tybee Island to enjoy a little breakfast and beaching. We found a breakfast place called The Breakfast Club that a local told us about, which was so good (hello cheesey grits), then we walked along the beach to enjoy the (cold) ocean. After Tybee we drove into the city to walk around downtown Savannah. It was seriously a beautiful city. I would love to go back and explore more.

Are you still with me? Or have I lost you?

From Savannah, we cruised the coast (not really) down to Orlando. We got there in time for dinner with Adam's aunt and uncle and their family (who live in Orlando) and his mom and dad (who were there for a conference).  I had never met Adam's aunt, and it was only the second time seeing his uncle and cousins. It was so fun getting to know them more.

The week consisted of Disney's Animal Kingdom, Cirque du Soliel, Universal, Islands of Adventure (hello Harry Potter world!) and of course, Magic Kingdom. It was so great. Adam and I rode all the rides we could, drank all the butter beer we could, and ate all we could (I think I gained five pounds...).

Obligatory castle picture.
We ended our trip by driving straight from Orlando to Ames, all 19 hours. We stopped once in Chattanooga, Tennessee for my first Waffle House experience. I don't know why, but I've always wanted to try a Waffle House. I think I remember my dad and brother talking about going when we were younger, and I always felt so left out. We had dinner at 11 p.m. and it was delicious. I got a waffle and covered (or was it smothered?) hash browns. Yum.

So that was the last 10 days of our lives. Have a great week. And take a vacation. They're worth it. And awesome.
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