Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lucas' Gotcha Day 2010!!!

July 28th, 2008. What a GREAT day!! The day we met our 3 month old little Lucas at FANA in Bogota, Colombia.

Two years later (and every year from now on) we celebrate Gotcha Day. Why? Because as adoptive parents, sadly, we weren't there on the day he was born. I can't tell him the story. I can't tell him about pregnancy feelings or what it felt like when his birth mother gave him life on that day.

I CAN tell him about the day he entered my life. In great detail. Every child in our family will be adopted and every child will have a Gotcha Day where we can celebrate the experiences that make us unique :-)

Here are some of the sweet photos from this year!

It's amazing how well photos turn out when one bribes their child with M&M's. Just saying.

We continued on to our brunch celebration at IHOP for Lucas' favorite food- pancake/waffles. It was intense.

After a little rest and time to sleep off all those pancakes, we were off to Adventure Oasis Water Park which is always a favorite. We had yet more ice cream on the way though! Lucas was very serious while waiting, but it all turned out well in the end :-)

Ready to hit the waterslides!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Still #5 :-)

So here we are, a few weeks later and still #5. Back in the day I really thought that we would have a referral in May (due to the insanity of referrals in the spring and our number), then I thought for sure June, but if not June then like the very beginning of July....

So I stopped thinking such things :-) lol

We have been waiting a little over 3 months now which is longer than the folks in the spring were waiting but definitely NOTHING to complain about in this crazy world of international adoption. My FANA friends will attest to that!!

So we've gotten so used to "waiting for the call" since we've been near the top of the list for awhile.. that we've kinda just gotten used to it.

My social worker already called to check in a week ago and about gave me a heart attack. No referral.. just checking in.. not very good timing for my nerves but I understand it's her job :-)

We enjoyed a few days in Iowa when the Vogtlins visited. We stayed at a cabin near Guthrie Center and also visited Grandma Holl on the farm.

We were also able to stop by and visit Great Grandma and Grandpa Black at Cutty's.

We are back in Missouri now and preparing for Ted's parents to arrive on Tuesday. It will also be a wonderful distraction to enjoy our family and time with Grandparents while we continue to wait for news from Ethiopia. The US Embassy Visa drama seems to have worked itself out (as most things do) and those that have to travel twice under the new system are starting to be submitted to court. As best we can tell right now, we won't be making our first trip to Ethiopia until likely November (unless we get super lucky and get an October date right after the courts open). Since we don't have a baby yet.. that is all a bit ahead of us :-)

In the meantime, we enjoy our 2 year old, enjoy our marriage, continue to read books about this parenting and adoption journey we are on and continue to grow in faith. God will bless us at the right time in his time in the way he wants.

So what did we do today? Firefest!!! The Independence Convention Center parking lot was all crazy this morning with fire trucks and fancy cars. We were SO there. It was hot, but Lucas loved it. He loved it so much he sometimes forgot to smile it was so intense.

His big fire truck ride was all he talked about for the rest of the day even though he was a bit nervous during the experience itself :-)

Hopefully we have more adoption news soon, but until then we will continue to enjoy our family!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Being #5

It's been a little quiet lately in the area of referrals. I remember back in Jan and Feb while I was doing paperwork it was the same way... before the 60 referrals that happened in March!

We're hoping that the quietness is for the same reason.. that there is a big batch on its way to clear out a chunk of the "list".

#5 is a fantastic place to be. I was really happy for the update. Truthfully, I don't think we will make it to a "lower" number at this point. Both of the gals that were before me and after me have received their referrals.. and I believe everyone in front of me at this point is requesting an infant girl. So IF a perfect baby boy should be ready for referral.. it would likely come to us!

June was a tough month because I really did expect to have news by now. I also spent the entire month of June in the bottom 10 of the list and expecting more news. Now that June has come and gone.. we're kind of in a space of peaceful whateverness. The courts will be closing soon in August.. so it is unlikely that even if we get a referral on Monday that we will make the cut off before they close for the rainy season. In this way.. I would rather "wait" with no baby news during this closure than be staring at a little face every day knowing that our case won't go anywhere for awhile.

I have girlfriends in that exact position. They have their referrals.. they know who will be joining their families and there is a lot of joy and excitement.. they just don't have court dates yet so they don't have a good idea of when their families will all be together on the same continent. That's rough.

I'm pre-praying for that period of the wait. I think that that will be the hardest for me because I only had a 6 day span of knowing about Lucas before he was in my arms. This time around? Could be more like 6 months. The difference? That I know that I know that I know that this will all work together for His purpose and that God is preparing our family.

We got our first "reject" letter from one of our grant applications. While that was a bummer, it is always nice to have an answer. That is more prayer energy for the other 4 :-)

We are also designing some t-shirts that we will be selling to family and our church in hopes of raising at least $1,000 of the 8,000 that we need for travel. We are hoping that God can prepare the hearts of the folks of Deerbrook Covenant Church that they would want to be involved in bringing our child home.

I have fantastic days, "blah" days, and difficult days during this wait. Fantastic days happen when I am just loving my son, enjoying my prayer time, and keeping busy in this beautiful summer I have been given. "Blah" days happen when I'm tired from doing all the things listed above and I miss my husband.. and the difficult days happen when I just wish I had news and I long to see the face of the little person I have been praying about since last summer. Sometimes I play a little game with myself called "You're not waiting for the call. I dare you to leave your phone out of sight and earshot!" So far I have been able to do this a couple times for up to 2 hours. After a month of being jumpy every time the phone rang.. now I'm challenging myself to act like I don't care :-)

In my prayer time, I have asked God to enable me to go be doing something good and productive with my life when that phone rings.

I have also been using this time to dig up some old feelings.. the feelings that were hard to face when I was waiting for Lucas- ie: parenting adopted children that will have to deal with grief and loss in various stages of their little lives. I have had 3 years now of healing and processing from my own loss of biological children and I still have far to go.. but we're getting there. We want to be in a place of emotional health to meet the needs of our children.. not in a place of needing our children to avoid our own grief. That's a lot to chew but there is a lot of positive and engaging literature out there for folks such as myself, written from the viewpoint of adopted children, to help us parents "get it" when our children speak.

I'll share with you all at a later point what I have been up to.. but it's deep lol

That pretty much summarizes this blog update.. that is here more for my children to read someday in the far off future. This blog serves as a way to update family about our lives which is all fine and good.. but like any good journal you have to remember write down your feelings when you're having them :-)