Sunday, February 7, 2010

Peace & A Little Clarification

So I've been having a little bit of an inner struggle going on...

knowing that God has been laying adoption heavy on my heart and that it must be for some purpose

knowing that Ben IS on the same page as me

knowing that financially it just ain't happening right now

wondering "is this just baby fever that will go away?"

debating whether the people in our lives that have been very negative and critical about us even talking about adoption are correct in their opinions or is that just Satan trying to attack us when we are following His plans and bringing Him glory

and then the thoughts just consumed with adoption... dreams (holding the sweet baby and watching him/her flourish in our family), details (age, gender, country, face, personality), guilt (I already have an awesome family, I should be thankful; if I, a person who already has 2 awesome kids, adopt a child, I might be taking a child away from a great couple that is unable to have children... STUPID because I know God has designed us specifically for this child, and this child specifically for us, and there are 147 MILLION orphans-don't think I'm gonna be doing anyone a disservice), grief (no longer creating a child from my body; what this child will already have faced before he/she even comes to our family and what his/her family had to face to allow him/her to be part of our family), and on and on and on.

Thankfully God realized I just needed some peace. Peace about it all. And he gave it to me. This morning. In the shower. LOL I was completely filled with peace that if this IS God's will, it will happen in his time, and it is ok that right now is not the time. God knows the right time and he will move mountains and reveal it to us. It is ok that Hunter is too young right now and that Bella is still working out a lot of junk in her head over mama being sick. It is ok that we still have a mound of medical bills and not enough in savings-He has provided and will continue to provide, and he WILL move the mountains.

God knows what is in my heart-he put it there. He knows exactly when to create this child and exactly what to place in his/her mother's heart and I pray that he gives her peace and strength and courage. He just filled my heart with a peace knowing that this will happen and took away any anxious desires to make it happen faster than pronto. To try and make it happen when it is not God's timing would go against all of what he has in store, and I know it is going to be so awesome and amazing. And then we went to church, and worship was so awesome today and so powerful-it totally restored every bit of peace I had this morning. And who knows what He will bring into our lives 1, 2, 5 years from now... and if adoption is not in His will, that is ok too-at least I will have gained TONS of knowledge about adoption, Africa, and humanity AND had an awesome motivation to get our finances back on track!

So... clarification, for those that are doubting, wondering, criticizing, and at times just plain not being nice...

"You have an awesome family and you should just be thankful for what you have."
I am incredibly thankful. I wake up every single morning and thank God for the amazing blessings he has brought into my life in the form of Ben, Bella & Hunter. I thank him for allowing me to beat cancer so I can still be here with them today. I thank him for allowing me to get out of bed every day and love on my family and soak up every second I have with them. I thank him for allowing me to hold my babies (hey when that gets taken away from you, you savor it). I thank him for these little inspirations that run around my house shrieking their love and just being God's awesome creations. I thank him for allowing me to be their mama, and for bringing the most amazing man into my life and theirs. But just because I already have something awesome-does that mean I shouldn't share that with someone else that God intends to be part of our family? I mean we were a pretty awesome family before Bella was born but that didn't mean we shouldn't have allowed Bella to be part of our family. And we were rockin' along pretty great when it was the MayTrio... yet we had Hunter and everyone welcome him with so much love and excitement-he was Nana's Christmas baby! I'll never stop being thankful-I was thankful before and it was considered "ok" to add more children to our family, so once our family is once again at a point where we are ready for a 3rd, why not? Bringing a 3rd child into the mix does not mean I love Bella or Hunter any less-THAT will never change. Having Hunter didn't mean I loved Bella any less. Loving her so much was a huge reason for having a 2nd, so she could have a best friend and playmate for life, and experience that awesome joy and love that only siblings can share. This experience and bringing this sweet baby into our lives will only enrich Bella and Hunter's lives and cause them to grow in ways I can only begin to imagine.

"You can barely handle the 2 you have now. It isn't fair to them or a 3rd child."
Ok, I'll admit, this one hurts. It rips me to my core and tears my heart to little pieces. Yeah it has been a rough year-anyone who could go through what our family has been through and say otherwise is crazy. Bella has had her moments (sometimes month-long ones) since I got sick but we are handling it alot better now. She is back on track and doing awesome! It is scary to have your mama at home and fine one day and then the next day she is gone... for a week... and when she comes back, she isn't the same mama that left, and she can't get up and play and be wild and crazy like she use to. That would throw any kid for a loop, and she did act out. But we've got it back under control and my sweet Bean has returned! Yep sometimes it is overwhelming when they are both screaming to be fed, or Hunter has a dirty diaper and Bella needs her butt wiped, or neither wants to take a nap... but that is normal, that is part of parenting-it happens. No one is perfect and I've learned not to strive for perfection-it'll kill you and any happiness your family might hope to have. My kids will NEVER for one nanosecond wonder if they are loved or wanted or appreciated. We will always be their #1 fans and support them and their happiness completely. Will adding another one to the mix make things crazy? Definitely, but that is why I love living in the zoo I do:) It will be a MAJOR transition, just like it is anytime you add another member to the family. But we'll work through it and there will be so much love.

I love you for your concern and am so thankful I have awesome people in my life that truly do care (and worry) about me and my family-that makes my heart smile so huge. We are incredibly blessed. This isn't something we are taking lightly-it is HUGE and we get that. We are still processing it all and aren't making any moves anytime soon. We are waiting til we know 100% without a doubt that our family is ready, and the moment we get to that point, I promise we will sit down and talk to you and face any fears you may have. We love you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

He said, "YES!!"

We've got an answered prayer, folks!! I have been consistently (ok non-stop) praying that God would soften Ben's heart, open his eyes to God's will, and give me the words, patience and understanding to scoot Ben and I onto the same page-IF it is His will. So after having "adoption preggo brain" for the past week (thoughts and heart consumed with adoption dreams), doing lots of research and just praying that God would give me the words and the right moment to have a serious talk with Ben-we were finally able to talk last night (not that we don't normally talk, but without kids or any other distractions and just totally focus on adoption).

I just laid my heart out there and prayed he wouldn't think I had lost the few marbles I have left or totally reject the idea. Before last night, we had only really talked about adoption as a dream-not a reality that we would seriously pursue. He said, "YES!!" We are on the same page as far as wanting this child (the one God has already created just for us, and us for him/her-whether he/she already exists yet or not, God has designed our family as part of his plans).

More prayers are needed-few more areas to iron out:

WHEN...Even though we both agree that ultimately it is all in God's time and are so so so so grateful for that!! His timing is what brought Bella & Hunter into our hearts. Ben says 5-10 years and I won't lie-I nearly choked on my water I was laughing so hard!!! I say NOW. We'll see what the boss has in store! I have complete faith that when God knows our family is ready and our next child is ready, he will move the mountains.

WHERE...domestic vs. international, and if international, which specific country-we all know where my heart is LOL

WHO...though we both definitely agree that God already knows the who and will reveal it all in his time-we need him to guide us since boy vs. girl, age, etc. is all part of the application/referral process.

Just so thankful we were able to sit down and really talk it through and process where our hearts are and dream together. God blessed me so much by bringing Ben into my life and creating us specifically for each other, and building our family together. Makes me want to go grab some popcorn and just sit back and see what God has got in store for us!!!

PS-For those of you who are reading this and it is your first time to ever hear of this crazy awesome plan of ours, please just breathe, open your heart and know that this is not something we are taking lightly. We are not doing it tomorrow, it is most definitely something in the verrrrrry beginning stages and we are far from even beginning the application process. We aren't making any moves until we get our debt greatly reduced and are able to start saving more towards the adoption costs. I know we'll probably get alot of "you are crazy", "be thankful for the family you have", and other criticism-I've asked God to protect my heart and just pray that once you are able to process it all, that you'll understand and give this child nothing but love and acceptance just as you have done with Bella & Hunter. This is not a "project" or crazy "idea"-it is a child that is meant to be part of our family and I cannot wait to bring him/her home for all of us to just wrap up with love and happiness. Love you!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Step 1: Debt

This has been the one (HUGE) negative thought looming over my heart-debt. Obviously we have some since we had quite the expensive 2009:

  • Hunter born mid-December 2008, med bills didn't arrive til January 2009
  • Bella's tube surgery (doc, hospital, anesthesiologist)
  • Diagnosed with cancer in April: oncologist visits, major expensive surgery, radiation (although I had met my out-of-pocket max, insurance still charged $25 copay for every single thing-each radiation treatment, weekly xray, blood checks, weekly doc visits, EVERYTHING)
  • Blood transfusion
  • Mammogram and subsequent breast biopsy
  • Hunter's tube surgery (doc, hospital, anesthesiologist)
Not to mention that at the beginning of 2009 I was still working from home and my hours were JUNK because of the change in the Administration (hold on most Congressional projects) and then recession and stimulus which didn't favor Congressional projects. Got my 1099 the other day and compared to my W2-in November and December alone I made 1/2 of what I made all year on 1099!!! No wonder we were strapped.

So step number 1: get on the ball!! FINALLY put into practice everything we learned from Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Get on the envelope system (I think this will help me immensely) and stick to a hardcore budget (ok so we'll start with a test edition with the understanding it can be revised over a period of a few months til we get somewhere that works for us). Pre-cancer our emergency fund had been established and we were working on the next baby steps of saving 3-6 months income and knocking out debt. Post-cancer there were a few months where we were literally living on credit cards.

So we have a ways to go but that was something I already knew, and played a big factor in my "pray pray pray for the remainder of 2010". A huge part of me wants to send off for that information packet and get the application process started but I know there is alot of preparation our family needs to begin before we can even start seriously dreaming. Handing it over to Him to take my anxiety and fear!!

Wisdom & Discernment

I laid in bed praying ALOT last night-mainly for wisdom and discernment. Mostly discernment and then wisdom to know what to do with what I discern (hey a girl can hope!!). Just to know whether this is truly God's will, if it is the Holy Spirit proding my heart (and giving me some crazzzzzy baby fever), if it is Satan breaking me down when I worry how in the world will we ever make this work (or is that God attempting to warn me to just not even go after it)... and on and on.

I know this awesome dream is way off in the future of coming true but my head is just FULL of adoption thoughts. My thoughts-pray pray pray on it for the rest of 2010 and then start moving forward... but also thankful for God's timing and just trying to remember to breath and let HIM be in charge. Hunter was not "unplanned" but he definitely came to be ALOT sooner than OUR plans had laid out (found out we were pregnant in April 08 but hadn't planned on that happening until later that year or even into 2009-ended up diagnosed with cancer April 2009). God is SOOO awesome and he knew what the future held, he knew the cancer was coming and that this was the absolute last moment that I could conceive a child-so thankful for His timing!! So I know that if this truly is his plan for our family and for this possible child, that his timing will prevail (despite the fact that I want it NOW-I'm learning that "now" just isn't in His vocabulary and am grateful for that every moment of every day).

So wisdom and discernment, and allowing God's will and timing to prevail. Then the morning comes and sweet Bella Bean pipes in. We have not voiced any of our plans or dreams to her at this point-have only tossed it around between ourselves after the kiddos have gone to bed. She wakes up this morning and says, "Mama I had a dream. I want a baby sissy. We have one boy, one big girl, one little girl" and proceeded to show me the three little people on her fingers. Mama got her morning milk and took a quick potty break so I could compose myself after that lil revelation!!!

Off to play with my Bean (ANOTHER snow day, Daddy had to work and Hunter's daycare was open so its a chica day). Gonna try to just focus on being the Godly mom and wife that God designed me to be for my "right now" family-though I'll admit, this weekend, every little thing we did or said I was imaging another little person added to the mix, and every time it made my heart do huge loopy-de-loops and major smiles!!