Thursday, March 28, 2013

Baby Pictures

My sweet friend, Laurie preparing the won tons.  
Cake table.

It says Celebrating, and in Chinese God's Gift.

My sweet girl Hazyl and her momma.

The yummy food and beautiful table.


Love this woman. She blessed me beyond words. 

Opening all the princess stuff from my sweet friend Jessica.

Yup, I'm a princess. 

Its the ugly cry...Sandy bought me a mommy and me bracelets. 

Laura and Joanna. 

Robin signing our baby's book. 

My sweet friend, Debra. 

2+ years pregnant. Debra is 6 months pregnant with TWINS!!!!

Admiring the cake with Jennifer. 

Kim and Laura.

Tina and her sweet baby, Natalie. 

Callie and Candace. 

My precious hostesses. Leanne, Sandy, Laurie and Jennifer. 

I love this woman, Sandy has been the mom I don't have. So blessed!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Waiting with baited breath...NO MORE!

Last week, I hit a wall. The 90 days waiting for our LOA (letter of acceptance) was up Monday the 18th. There was no more patience, there was no more grace, there was no more tolerance. I was done! I was cooked! I needed it to be time and it wasn't and I wanted to scream. For some reason it seemed like I was asked more than usual when we were getting our daughter. I wanted to hide. I wanted to stomp my feet like a 5 year old and have a little fit. And the truth is I kind of did in my own quiet little way. I say quiet, minus the public outcry on Facebook. 

There were a lot of things about last week that were pretty terrible. A lot of things besides the LOA not coming that were completely out of my control. A lot of things that broke my heart and even though I did my best to make things right, make things better it just wasn't happening. There was a lot of brokenness last week. But God. Oh God, oh how He is truth and He is goodness in the midst of chaos and turmoil. Oh how I love my God. I immersed myself in His word and that peace that passes all understanding just flowed into my heart and mind and stilled me. He rocked me like a mother rocks her newborn. He calmed my stormy sea. And I rested. And then I chose patience once again because after all I can't control any of it so why torment myself. I felt so good about this decision and wondered why it took me so long to reach it. But anyway...

This morning found me in bed battling an ice pick headache. Have you heard of those? They are debilitating. It literally feels as if someone is driving ice picks into your head usually behind your eyes which makes it hard to see when you're in the middle of one. So between sleeping and being awake my phone vibrated letting me know I had an email. It was from Kristen (agency chick), she was sending us updated pics of Jenna Grace. I wasn't even excited, how sad is that? Then when I saw the actual pictures my heart ached all the more. She looked miserable. I mean, straight up I want my mom miserable. Plus they clearly just cut all of her hair off super short so she looked like a boy. Nothing a cute bow or headband won't fix but I just wanted to reach through the phone and scoop her up and squeeze her tight!
I finally started feeling better later in the afternoon and headed to shower, I figured I needed to look somewhat decent for marriage study later that evening. As I headed back out of the bathroom after blow drying my hair I saw the phone flashing and then went off. I had missed a call and swore I saw the 541 area code that is OREGON... Was it? I raced over there and sure enough. I knew she would be leaving a message but I didn't care, I called back right away. Kristen? Its Rachel...CONGRATULATIONS! YOUR LOA CAME TODAY! I COULDN'T WAIT TO TELL YOU! 
I started to weep and at that point we continued to talk but I don't think I took in one more thing except that we would most likely travel June 14th. We had a date. I began texting everyone I could think of. I figured all of these people had walked this very long road with us and they did not deserve to hear it on Facebook. Almost all of them text me back weeping right along with me. It was precious. I was moved. This journey has been so long, so exhausting yet we have been so supported. So loved. This little girl will be so loved. 

So, June. June 14th will be here in less than 3 months. It doesn't seem that far away anymore considering all that has to be done in that time. So, I choose. Choose to rest in Him. Choose to be still while he leads and guides us through this last leg (last trimester if you will) of this most amazing journey. This would normally be a time where I would fret the most. So much to be done, not to mention just the idea of a 20+ hour travel time most of which will be spent in airplanes and I hate to fly more than anything else in the world. But I won't do that. I will not fret. I will enjoy the next three months. I will relish in all the preparations for our precious girl. Everyday is a gift to be enjoyed because it was given by a Creator who loves us and gave Himself up for us. Therefore I need to live as unto Him to bring Him all the Glory He deserves. 

Blessings to you, thanks for being part of this. And please don't stop praying, now is when we need it the most! 

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Waiting with baited breath...

Chinese New Year has been over for about a week and a half. That means its been business as usual for that long. I don't think its possible to check my email any more times in a day than I do right now. And yet, I will check. And check again and wait and wonder and HOPE!
Today, finally, the phone rang and the caller ID showed Eugene, OR. Was it? No, but I was still thrilled to hear Kristen's voice on the other end. Allow me to introduce (sort of) you to this precious young woman. She is our life line to China and our daughter. When we first switched agency's and the director, Beth was explaining who everyone was in her office she mentioned Kristen. Well, we have been speaking with her ever since and its been a pleasure every single time! She is patient and kind and I'm sure I exasperate her with my questions yet she never ever causes me to feel as if I am wasting her time or annoying her. Now, this doesn't mean she doesn't get off of the phone and think "thank goodness!" but thats besides the point. :0) She has been the biggest blessing to Brian and me and I thank God for her. I truly hope to one day take our daughter to meet her and say thank you in person. Now, about the phone call. Kristen explained that no she wasn't able to tell us our LOA (letter of acceptance) had come in but she was able to say they had told her there were no problems with it and it was pretty much guaranteed to come in with the next batch. Whew that was a long sentence, sorry.
And then I pretty much hammered her with every other question I could think of just because talking to her is like talking to a friend and somehow it makes me feel closer to my daughter.

Adoption update done, so how about a family update. All is well and super busy here at the country bunker.
Jackson's basketball team won the league championship for the third year in a row. WOO-HOO! That was awesome. It was particularly amazing because they had been the underdogs for the majority of the season, so to come back and win it made the victory that much sweeter.

Jayden is busy practicing for his first musical, third production in all, in our local theater. The Little Mermaid. He is the first mate. He has several lines and I'm curious to see how they are going to make it the stage look water-like.

Jared has been out on his own for 2 months and is doing great! Sadly, I don't see him that often but he texts/calls me a couple of times a week and I get to catch up that way. Its definitely a different dynamic now that he no longer lives with us. It isn't that you ever stop being a parent but theres a shift. I can't even really describe it. I guess that explains why there are no books/manuals about this sort of thing. Its something you just have to go through.

B and I have been going at break neck speed. There has been something every single weekend for over a month now, not to mention all the week day stuff and it doesn't look to slow down until the end of March. Part of me is glad about it, the other part of me is exhausted. I am glad, for obvious reasons. The busier I am, the less I think about the time dragging on with no update. However, after saying all of that I am looking forward to April being slower.
And speaking of April...I will be turning 40!!!! And thats all I have to say about that. :0)

The next couple of days and weeks are going to be fun. Tomorrow we leave for Great Wolf Lodge for a couple of days and then the weekend of the 16th is my baby shower...and it will be pink! I am super excited about that. When my Aunt was here recently I found this canvas print for the baby's room that was just perfect so she blessed us with it. I can't wait to paint and hang it up.
I am also preparing for my good friend, Debra's baby shower in April. She is having twin girls and is due in July.

And on a completely random note, I attended the Devoted conference this past weekend in VA Beach at The Wave Church. Amazing. My fave speaker was there, Christine Caine. Also, speaking was Sharon Kelly (lead pastor's wife of Wave church), Lisa Bevere and Sheila Walsh. The second night of the conference they hosted an 80's night complete with a band called The Deloreans, crazy staffers donning 80's gear and all the dancing you could stand. It was definitely brought back a lot of memories listening to those songs. See below for some funny pics.

Thanks for reading and now its back to waiting with baited a good way.