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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Open Book Test

The Lord tests the righteous ~Psalm 11:5

I have a dear friend that is battling her mom going through cancer and I remember the trials of going through that with my own mother. Her faith just seems so unshaken. I'm humbled by her faith and feel guilty that I struggle with having faith that we'll ever find our child.

I have another dear friend that is battling watching her own child with depression.

All around me, I have strong friends with constant faith and I think at times, their faith helps me keep my faith. 

Life is so easy when you're up on the mountain.  I would just love to see that mountain again. Occassionally, some spark of hope will shine thru the trees and I realize I'm not alone. 

Over the past week, I've had numerous frustrations with the adoption journey. I found out one of the cuties we requested consideration of, our home study never got sent. I don't understand how this happens.  I haven't wanted to vent to my friends much, because as I said above, they have pretty serious issues to deal with themselves. This journey has been going on 3 years, I'm sure I can see them through this journey and THEN still have time to vent.

But back to this open book test--Proverbs tells us the refining is to remove the impurities from the metal and God is testing us to make us stronger, exercising muscles that wouldn't get stronger if we only lifted 5 lb weights. I can't help but think by the time we find our child, with this much refining, firing and training, he's either preparing us for a challenging child or we'll be the greatest parents ever. Why do I think challenging child is probably the  That's okay though, it's where our heart is. 

The larger the task ahead, the bigger test that is required now. Not to hurt us, but because He doesn't want us in a position where we can't handle it.  It's so hard not to think of it as punishment though.  How often over the many years of marriage have I wondered why I'm being punished and want to be a good mommy and never have had our miracle to us after so many years. 

If only I could remember to walk by faith constantly, not just now and again.

Husband and I were talking the other day that if Princess Redhead doesn't work out for us, we may as well give up, because we've had glaring evidence that things are working against us.  On the other hand though, would God have put this desire here and not answer it.  If only I could decode this open book test.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My prayer for our daughter

I don’t know what our childs future holds, nor do I even know when she’ll come home to us, but I love her so deeply and I’m trusting in you to take good care of our ‘lil girl. In the meantime, we have so many hopes and dreams for her and yet I need to remember she’s your creation, not mine and I have to wait on you and follow your directions. Thank you in advance for entrusting me and her daddy to taking care of her. We do love her so much.  Some days I think about how many years are behind her, but then I realize also how many years are ahead of her. I know I need your help. Increase our faith to believe that you can do what we can’t even dream. Show me how to pray for her. Put her needs on my heart. I don’t want her to miss out on your plan for her life. Help me guide her to the paths you’ve predestined for her. Please secure her future and show favor on her. I pray for your protection over her mind and her heart, but also over us as her parents. Help us be aware of her needs as her parents. Help me listen to your guidance and prompting in our lives as a family. Help remind me in the bad times as well as the good times to keep praising you and thanking you for bringing this princess into our home and allowing her to be our daughter. She’s a treasure beyond belief. Work in us and through us to lift her up. I love you and thank you. AMEN!!

Angels are all around us, as far as the heart can see.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Persistence in everything.....

Have you ever watched Where the Red Fern Grows?  I can't help but admire Billy's determination through it all.
Something that really hit me while watching it though was when he was in grandpa's store and he told him to quit waiting for something to happen (getting his dogs) and meet God half way. Billy started working his butt off to earn his dogs and not only did he get his dogs, but got a discount due to the depression and ended up with a little extra.

Billy wanted those dogs so much that it affected his sleep and all his habits. Given the situation he was in, it would have been so much easier for him to give up. But he was tenacious and earned his dogs....quality dogs and you could see Billy mature through the movie as he set his goal and worked through it. I really, really want to have a family and a little girl to call my own. Here we.....5 failed fertility treatments in 2008 and 2009 and signed up in 2009 to adopt and still waiting in 2012.

Even after he got his dogs, Billy stopped at nothing, staying up forever to chop that big tree down, eventually calling on God for help to knock it down. He was willing to keep on and his persistence had no limits.

How many of us just sit back and wait for what we want instead of working towards our goal? How many of us fail to call on God for help to knock it down? Determination is good for us to have....more than anything.

Having a dream eats at our heart until it's unbearable....want it? Do something about it. It took Billy several years, but he achieved his dream. Without that first step in the right direction, he'd still be without his dogs.

We could take a lesson from this. I'm beyond frustrated with the lack of involvement from our recruiter, but we keep finding kids because we're persistent and one day, one of these will pan out for us.  I hope it's soon.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Every year we have a kickoff meeting at work. The last few years it's been in Baltimore. After much thought and deliberation, back in July, I stepped down in my role from district manager to branch manager. Most of the time, I've been very happy with that choice.  I love my job again. I do miss that power though.

 A manager opening came open in the town I live in, work was driving me nuts, but more importantly, one precious little angel that we'd submitted interest in and seemed to otherwise be a good match for, we were turned down for because of my work hours and so much travelling. I've enjoyed my new role a bunch, but I must admit occassionally I feel those pangs of missing the power I had. Isn't that sad? Of all the things, salary, company car, laptop, perks, I miss those obviously, but the power was harder to give up.  Go figure, I lost 15K in salary, who knows what in bonuses yet, the company car and a laptop, yet, it's the power I miss.

I was dreading kickoff, the first time I'd see many of my peers since stepping down. Not all know the reason, I'm sure there is spectulation and rumors. Oddly enough though, it went well.

I just knew it was going to be very difficult to go to this meeting, not being in the middle management role and having a say in things going on, but being among those that are being talked TO, instead of doing the presenting. Branch manager and below have to share rooms. District Manager and below get their own rooms. This was a probably mentally for me, so I offered to pay 1/2 to being able to keep my own room. Thankfully, this request was honored.

I got there and it was initially a tad awkward knowing people would know I'd stepped down, but very few would know why and probably would assume the worst. Oddly enough, though, it wasn't near as difficult as I anticipated. I get to be buddies with cool people and not have the responsibility of making sure people behave. That was cool.

But the really great thing.......they requested we all bring in toys to the kickoff meeting and anybody that brought toys or sent toys could wear jeans Wednesday. My team really stepped up to the plate and sent tons of toys. We KNEW they'd go to a great cause, but image my surprise when I got here and they're going to foster children. That made me very happy.  I was so excited that I had overdone it a little with the toys, once I knew the whole story. Here I am stressed out over going to a company meeting because of my change in role and get there and find the very kids I feel such an urgency for are the very ones the company is helping.

Not sure why, but for some reason that just made me more sure I'd made the right decision to step down and I'm more at peace and less anxiety over being in big groups with people at the company looking at me in a different position.

Once I got home, I got an e-mail from a lady we'd met back in November. We'd went to a match reception and found a young lady that just looks and feels like she'd fit right in with us.  She asked when we could interview. Naturally, we said tomorrow!!

We left our worker out of the loop on this one. To date, we haven't seemed to have much help from her and in a few cases, have seemed to get conflicting messages from the workers we've met in our travels to find a child. We shall see who's right.

The interview went great. Our training we've focused on is geared towards EXACTLY what this angel needs.  She said she's 100% comfortable with recommending us, but of course, as always, there are a couple others to interview and the next step should probably be in 3 or so weeks. I'll be a wreck til then.  I really would LOVE to be this angels new, forever mom!

Always a reminder of the journey and why I made the choices I've made. I hope one day these choices will prove to be fruitful.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Double Grrrrr!!

Months ago, a precious sibling set of 3 came up for adoption with our agency.  Unfortunately, we're looking more for 1.  They were SOOOOOOOOOO cute though and I felt something for them, so on adoptuskids, I put them on the watch list just to get updates and know they were okay.

Last month, their status changed and the oldest child was removed from the set. The youngest two were placed in a pre-adoptive family and the oldest up for adoption.  We immediately put in our request for our case worker to send our home study.  Bear in mind this was a MONTH ago, EASY!!

Last week, she STILL had not sent our home study in. She said her worker was on maternity leave and not making decisions yet and would send our home study next week when she returned.

Yesterday, on one website she's marked as adoption pending. On another, removed altogether. I'm SOOOOOOOO furious, as is my husband.  I'm at a loss on what to do. There are no other agencies that service our area. She's the only case worker with the agency we deal with.  This journey has been going on for what seems like an eternity.

Is it too much to ask to act in the childs best interests, even if you're not willing to help us?  The child SHOULD have the ability for her worker to review all interested parties and be able to be selective.  Her "hurt parts" are exactly where our strengths lie and yet, we can't even be considered?

I seriously feel like crying now. 

One thing to get turned down for a child you express interest in, another thing altogether to not even be considered.  Seriously? Is this how the system works or is it just our worker?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Year, Optimism Renewed?

Oh, the magical time of the year, New Year to give us a New Hope.   What is it about a new year that gives me hope? Every year that we don't have our dream fulfilled, I think "well, this one is the year". 

Even if 2011 was a good one, there is just something about a clean slate and well, truthfully, 2011 wasn’t a great year for me, so I’m excited about new things to come in 2012.

I keep thinking about this and that, some of which is controllable and others, well, if only our life circumstances would change for the better… getting matched with our kiddo!! This is getting ridiculous. I’d make a resolution on how to achieve that goal if I had any idea what was going wrong.

Wishes just remaining floating in the area and thought we have great hopes, we don’t always take action into fulfilling those wishes. So, 2012….bring it on….let’s work on the controllables!

I read this this week and it cracked me up, but it’s so true: New Years Resolutions are like a baby… to make, but hard to maintain

2012 resolutions:

· Don’t use credit cards except for child or travel, specifically adoption related

· Payoff 2 bills….switching jobs to take care of our non-existent daughter really played havoc on the budget, need to get this in control so we don’t "feel" broke all the time

· Earn top manager bonus in district each month/quarter

· Implement attachment parenting when we find our child and practice it daily, continue to learn on attachment parenting through training, reading and following Last Mom Blog, as well as experience. Last Mom is such an inspiration!

· Spend 10-15 minutes a day on housekeeping so it doesn’t get behind again (what happened over the past 60 days?! Ugh!!)

· Spend at least a couple hours a week doing something I enjoy as a hobby, just for me, that is NOT Farmville!! Farmville takes up way too much of my time. And no, words with friends will not be considered a suitable replacement, nor will any other Facebook games. Perhaps, take the camera around with me and go to lunch occasionally and take a photo safari to spend time with myself. I rarely "go" out of the office for lunch. This could be good for me to focus on trying to enjoy my hobby.

· Eat a fruit or veggie every night with dinner—potatoes don’t count!