Friday, August 17, 2012

One Day...

One day, I'm going to want to remember this season.  LOTS of friends have told me to journal and help myself remember this time.  Our son or daughter will want to know about this season. The wait.  T.h.e....w.a.i.t.

It's so hard to describe, though.  The juxtaposition of everyday life continuing as normal but the reality that life can change at any moment.  It could be an email.  It could be a phone call. 

I *thought* I was prepared for this.  But there's really no way to prepare. 
And I'm a do-er.  I don't like to sit still and just wait.  So, we've been fundraising.  A nice distraction, only it's not a distraction but a constant reminder.  Just another way to stay busy during the process.  Another juxtaposition--trusting God to provide the finances for this adoption but going forward with how we feel He is leading us to fundraise.  One of the recent fundraisers did not feel completely led by the Lord, and that stressed me out.  It made me want to step back and take a break.  I needed to be reminded that I'm not in control of this.  


Now, there's the whole curve ball of the house situation.  "Backup" money that we were going to use if all the fundraising didn't come through has now turned to House Down Payment.  There is no 'backup'.  Speaking of being a do-er, this has definitely also provided an change in the daily to-do list.  House inspections, meeting with lender, insurance quotes, re-work monthly budget, find a handyman, and so on.  

It's no surprise that yesterday, on my lunch break, someone asked me how I'm doing, and I burst into tears.  And I couldn't stop them.  Thankfully, friends were there to tell me funny stories of their own pregnancy hormonal adventures.  This is not a biological pregnancy, but it's an 'expectancy'.  They were kind enough to make the comparison.  One friend even said that you're not supposed to make major life-changing decisions while pregnant.  Well, again, not pregnant but definitely expecting.  And this big change was unavoidable.  

Oh, and another thing I didn't expect--the constant questions, in my mind and from others. 
  • When will it happen? 
  • Will it be a boy or a girl?
  • Will the birth father be involved?
  • How involved with the birth mother's family be?
  • Could we do an older child?  Are we supposed to do an older child?  
  • Why didn't you do DSS?  Isn't that free?
  • What about international?  There are kids already born who will go to sleep tonight without a family. 
  • Should we change to international?  
  • Is the birth mom a believer?  
  • How did this child come to be? 
  • How do I even pray for this baby?  Is he/she born, conceived?
Oh gosh, all those "I's" up there remind me of something else I didn't prepare for-- Matthew and I process this whole thing differently.  DUH!  (Since when have we ever done anything exactly the same!?!)  But to be honest, I've struggled with this.  Why doesn't he handle things the same way?  Does he want this as much as I do?  Are we honestly called to this, or is this just what we want? 

Whew... sometimes it's good to be honest and transparent.  God uses this as a way to 'sift' through my thoughts/fears/anxieties and bring forth His Truth.  

Friends, this is hard.  Already, though, it's worth it.  The way God is working in our hearts is overwhelming.  The way God is whispering to my heart is priceless.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  

Any input?

 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More on the House

We've been excitedly, casually house-hunting since April.  The plan was to buy a house when we were finished with Cares, in February 2013. 
Things have changed with Cares.  Long story-short, it just wasn't a good fit for us anymore or for our apartment community.  After discussions with our Regional Director, we felt that it would be better for the Cares Program if we stepped aside and let a new Cares Team come in and start fresh.  We think Cares is great, but with Matt student teaching and with the adoption process, we knew it was only going to be tougher to do a great job as a Cares Team.  So, now we will be done with Cares in September.

So, for the last 2 weeks, the house-hunting process was accelerated.  We looked a lot on our own for the first week.  Drove to all areas of town, explored lots (thinking we would build a modular home), a family home that had recently been re-done, and houses we found on the internet.  We were fairly discouraged with the options that were in our price-range.  So we knew we needed help.  

We signed with a realtor last Friday, August 3rd.  We knew we wanted to work with Brent anyway but didn't know how great he would be!  After our initial meeting and signing a buyer's agreement with him, we got lots of emails with potential houses.  We checked out several over the weekend but only wanted to see the inside of one house.


Love the wood floors, gas fireplace, high ceilings and openness. 
This house, we call it "Ponderosa", like the ranch, had JUST been reduced from 145,000 to within our price range.  It's a Foreclosure, so we were nervous, but it's beautiful!  We saw it on Monday morning and loved it!  It's not perfect, but it's a perfect first house.  Especially compared to the other houses in our budget, we knew we wanted to make an offer! 







Losing closet space but excited about hardwoods, double sink and being on the first floor!
So, we made an offer on Tuesday (after reading through 20+ pages with our realtor), received a counter on Wednesday, made a new offer (don't really know the terms) on Thursday and received a counter that afternoon.  We came to an agreement on Friday morning and setup House and Termite Inspections for this coming week.  If all goes well with inspections, we should be closing in the middle of September.  We are excited! 




Check out the patio and playset! 
The dogs are gonna love having a back yard, and we're gonna love not having to take them up & down 3 flights of stairs!  We can totally imagine bringing our children home from the hospital to this house.  We look forward to having get-togethers with our new neighbors and celebrating birthdays with our family and friends.  Hopefully at this house. 








I'm including lots of pictures.  These are all from the listing site.  I hope to have more pictures after our inspection on Monday. 
Nursery not pictured.  Kinda bummed about no pantry but (hopefully) plenty of cabinets.




Saturdays

I used to take Saturdays for granted.  Then I worked at Verizon for 2.5 years and didn't have any Saturdays.  I Looooooooooove Saturdays now.  They will be even better when Matt is teaching, and we have Saturdays off together.  But for now, I'm starting to figure out how to fully enjoy Saturdays and fit it as much as possible. 

Last Saturday, I met Celeste for breakfast.  Definitely a treat!  Going out to breakfast is my favorite thing, but it was extra special to catch up with a long-time friend.  (We've been friends since 2004).  After breakfast, we still had lots to catch up on, so she came with me back to our apartment.  We talked and caught up while doing dishes and laundry.  It was pretty perfect.  Being productive AND hanging out with a good friend. I need to do this more often!  

Today, I got up pretty early (I think I'm too old to really sleep in now) and decided to take the dogs to the dog park before it got too hot.  On my way, I decided to see if I could pick up my favorite 2 year old to take her with me.  Her mom happily obliged. :)  So, Allie and I took Nala and Zoe to the dog park... the very muddy dog park.  I totally should have turned around when I saw the puddles, but I knew my girls (the dogs) needed to get some energy out.  Well, we had SOOOO much fun.  All 4 of us got muddy and messy but burned up a lot of energy and made some fun memories.  It was a blast!  

Dropped off a muddy 2 year old almost 2 hours later and came home to wash up my two girls.  Neither of them like baths, and it's not very easy to man-handle either one of them into the bathtub, but I somehow managed to get them both clean.  Felt like a HUGE accomplishment!  Matt came home for lunch, and I straightened up a little bit while he ate.  I LOVE that he can come home for lunch now and will probably miss that when he teaches.  Then again, I'll be working most of the days that he teaches, so I guess it doesn't matter... 

This afternoon, my friend Lauren (also the momma of my favorite 2 year old) picked me up, and we got to enjoy an uninterrupted afternoon hanging out (hard to do since she's a busy wife and momma of 2 + a new exchange student from Australia.) :)  But we had sooo much fun enjoying chatting at Starbucks then going to the grocery store.  (Again, mixing friends and productivity... it works well!)  

My heart is full.  AND I get to enjoy an evening with my honey and a day of family tomorrow.  We are truly blessed.  I don't want to wish this time away.  I don't know how long this season will last, so I want to treasure it while it's here.  Soon enough, Saturdays will be full of new adventures and joys (with home-ownership and parenting on the horizon).  New responsibilities.  For now, I'm going to enjoy my pups and low-maintenance apartment as much as possible.  

(P.S. Sorry no pictures. The beloved camera is MIA and has been for about a month now.  Pretty bummed about that.)

Friday, August 10, 2012

'Tis the Season...

... for more change!  

Our season as a Cares Team has come to an end.  A little earlier than originally planned but definitely the right time.  Thankfully, we had been house-hunting 'just for fun' since April.  And we had a really good idea of what we wanted, where we wanted to be and what we could spend.  

We have now put in an offer, had it countered, countered again and gotten another counter.  We have settled on a price, and as long as the Home Inspection doesn't find any major problems, this will be our first home!  


Isn't God good?!  We will hopefully be bringing our child home to a real HOME and not an apartment, on the 3rd floor.  And we will have more time to focus on bonding and growing as a family without the commitment of Cares. 

More later on "our first house" if all goes well.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Praying for This...




As we rejoice with TWO families we know who have been united through adoption in the past couple of weeks, we look forward to when it will be our turn.  In His time.

Until then, we pray...

...And tear-up when I find heart-tugging things on Pinterest.  

Do you have anything to add to my Pinterest Adoption board

P.S.  You can read about one of the families here

Monday, August 6, 2012

Winners of the New iPad Raffle!

We have had a huge outpouring of donations in the last 36 hours and finally broke even on this Giveaway.  We ended up raising close to $450!   THANK YOU so much to everyone who posted, tweeted, shared and especially donated. 

And now... here are the winners...

Ann Roberson won the $20 iTunes Gift Card!

Josue Sierra won the $50 iTunes Gift Card!

And... Beth Tyndall (Tricia's MOM) won the New iPad!!!
Maybe "BeBe" will be able to use her new iPad to Facetime with her first grandbaby when he/she arrives! (Of course, that would require us getting some type of device that has Facetime too.) :)

For what it's worth, we DO realize it's a little questionable that close family members have won 2 out of the 3 grand prizes of our recent giveaways.  I guess it shows how much they have supported us.  Their donations, shares and posts were entered the same as everyone else.  We have been pleasantly surprised by the random.org selections, and I know they are also thrilled! :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Extra Entries for the iPad Giveaway!

Grand Prize:  new iPad!
(Winner can choose color and specific model.  We will pay up to $500 retail price.)
2nd Prize: 
$50 iTunes Gift Card
3rd Prize:
$20 iTunes Gift Card
Here's how the special entries break down: 
  • $15 donation gets 4 entries (through WePay or in person).
  • $25 donation gets 8 entries (through WePay or in person). 
  • $50 donation gets 20 entries (through WePay or in person).  
  • $100 donation gets 50 entries (through WePay or in person). 
  • 4 entries for each CoupAide ($25 Restaurant.com certificate) purchased. 
    *Must leave a comment here letting us know how many you purchased and when.*
  • 2 entries for each time you share this entry on your blog/website. 
    **Must leave a comment with your name and blog/email here each time so it can be tracked.** (Limit 3 entries through this method.)
  • 2 entries for each item purchased through our Celebrating Home Online Fundraiser.
  • 1 entry for Tweeting about this Giveaway.  Use #ipadraffleforadoption.
  • We may offer more opportunities to get an entry by "sharing" about our Giveaway on Facebook, so stay tuned to our Facebook Page.   

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Special Entries into the New iPad Giveaway

Grand Prize:  new iPad!
(Winner can choose color and specific model.  We will pay up to $500 retail price.)
2nd Prize: 
$50 iTunes Gift Card
3rd Prize:
$20 iTunes Gift Card
Here's how the special entries break down: 
  • $15 donation gets 4 entries (through WePay or in person).
  • $25 donation gets 8 entries (through WePay or in person). 
  • $50 donation gets 20 entries (through WePay or in person).  
  • $100 donation gets 50 entries (through WePay or in person). 
  • 4 entries for each CoupAide ($25 Restaurant.com certificate) purchased. 
    *Must leave a comment here letting us know how many you purchased and when.*
  • 2 entries for each time you share this entry on your blog/website. 
    **Must leave a comment with your name and blog/email here each time so it can be tracked.**
    (Limit 3 entries through this method.)
  • 2 entries for each item purchased through our Celebrating Home Online Fundraiser.
  • Occasionally, we may offer opportunities to get an entry by "sharing" about our Giveaway on Facebook, so stay tuned to our Facebook Page.