My Favorite song that always helps me feel better!

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Contentment

The end of last year and the beginning of this year on the adoption front has been a roller coaster.  Right before Thanksgiving last year we received an email from our agency that the wait time with Ethiopia is increasing to 4-5 years from dossier submission.  They were offering a discounted transfer to India or China.  This would mean that what we were looking forward to being closer to a referral in April was yet another year or two, maybe more away.  So over the month of December we considered and prayed about transferring to China.  The beginning on January we decided to make the transfer.  To our knowledge we met all the requirements.  We were excited, hopeful, and had a renewed spirit.  About three weeks later we were told that there were other requirements that had been overlooked, that we did not meet, so our application was denied.  They could possibly make an exception if we were willing to accept a child with more moderate to severe special needs.  We felt that this was not an option for our family.  So we began the process of transferring back to Ethiopia with the knowledge that it would be a long wait.  We began doing some of the home study update paperwork again.  Then we received yet another email the beginning of February stating that Ethiopia was proposing changes to their international adoption requirements.  The requirements included age limits of 25-50, no more than 2 children in the home already, and a 6 month stay in country for bonding.   As you can probably assume the last proposed change is a deal breaker.  The officials in Ethiopia then met with the agencies and took their input into consideration, however did not make a final decision on these changes.  They did not give another meeting date and have begun transferring children out of the agencies care and back into the state orphanages.  The agency told us that this most likely will be a lengthy process with increasing wait times, and encouraged transfer to China or India once again.

After all of this consideration and turmoil with Ethiopia, I say with a heavy heart, we feel God has called us to leave the adoption and Ethiopia.  All of this has been painful and it was not an easy decision to say the least.  We are grieving now for a child and the family we envisioned we would have for the last 4 years.  For 3 years now we have been waiting for a referral and we have tried to be patient and continue to live life.  It is apparent to us that God has closed the doors to China and Ethiopia.  We have looked at other options for adoption and feel that currently they are not options for us.  So now we are coming to terms with the possibility of only having one child.  We are trusting that if God wants us to adopt then He will make it happen and "drop" a child into our laps.  Choosing to step away has been so difficult and torn my heart.  The hope for a sister for my girl seems like a distant dream and makes me ache for her as well.  This was such a difficult decision, but we are embracing the new life without the uncertainty of our family and trying to enjoy our daughter.  

Through all of this process we have learned a lot.  We took the opportunity to learn about Ethiopia, try new foods, and most of all learned patience.  We also learned and continue to learn about jealousy.  I am being frank now, but seeing other friends adopt and have it go smoothly and quickly has brought feelings of jealousy.  We wished we had what they did.  But that was not God's plan.  It may seem that we are being impatient, but in reality we feel that we need to rely even more on God to provide a child and stop "looking" for one to put into our family.  If He plans adoption for us, He will make it happen.  If not then we will enjoy being the parents of one child, and have the ability to give her our full attention and provision. We are focused on accepting God's plan and blessings for our lives, our family, and being content with what He has already given us, a beautiful almost 6 year old daughter!

We appreciate all of the support that we had as we started and remained going through this process.  Thank you to all of our friends and family who supported us emotionally and financially, it will always be appreciated and never forgotten the love and support given to us. Thank you all and please continue to pray for peace, contentment, and support our decisions. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 in review, looking ahead in 2016

Reflecting back on this last year, we had many changes as a family.  From the beginning of the year with my recovery from hip surgery to then moving from day shift to night shift.  In the same week I moved to night shift I also started school to obtain my bachelors degree in Nursing.  Then within that same month we realized that our kitchen floor was bowed due to a leaky dishwasher, which prompted us to unexpectedly replace our kitchen.  This was a blessing definitely and had been desired for a long time, but has made finances a little more difficult.  We went to Florida and my girl and I had our first Disney experience together.  That was awesome getting to experience our first time together!

Then we continued with the renovation of our kitchen throughout the summer and some of the renovations still continue.  I cannot wait for it to be done completely!  The last half of 2015 I took the hardest classes.....Math!  Oh how I hate math, but I am so proud of myself because I got A's in Algebra and Statistics.  Economics I just finished a 10 days before Christmas and it was the most awful class in the history of math classes!  But I pulled through and got a B!  We went to a very special wedding in September and had a wonderful time.  As a family we also went camping twice, once on Assateague and once in Shenandoah.  We had an awesome time in both places even though the weather really didn't cooperate either time.  On Assateague we saw the wild ponies.....who know when people are leaving on Sundays and make their rounds to campsites to pillage through people's gear!  In Shenandoah Paul and I went just the two of us.  We went for a hike that turned into an all day hike, met a nice couple who gave us a ride back to our truck when we realized we were still a good mile away, and my wish came true on our hike.....we saw a bear!  Paul thought I was crazy to want to see a bear, but I thought it was awesome!  

The other major thing for us was my girl starting Kindergarten!  That is right she is growing up so fast!  She is reading chapter books, doing so well in math, and loving her big school now!  Initially she had a little bit of a hard time going from a small private school to adjusting to a big public school, but now she loves it and loves her class.  She also continued with horse back riding, and beginning in December started piano lessons.  By Christmas she was playing Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nick, and Rudolph very well!  We may have a musician on our hands! 

This was our year in a nutshell for 2015 though some things I know I missed, they are not forgotten.  It was busy, crazy, messy, and stressful, but all in all it was good.  God made things happen the way they did for a reason and we are beyond blessed!  I am so blessed to have my girl, who is a caring, compassionate, and loving person.  It is awesome to see her personality and soul develop and show love and compassion toward others.  I am so super blessed to have a caring, understanding, and forgiving husband!  He is awesome and did not complain one bit when I was so stressed with school and work.  He never complained about having to help out more around the house when I was stressed with school, and he never complained or told me I wasn't doing enough around the house.  He let it go and he is awesome for being so understanding!  I am so blessed to also have family close and be able to spend time with them throughout the year.  That was our year for 2015! 

Now looking toward 2016!  Last year at the beginning of the year I read a blog that gave a word for the year.  I thought this was an awesome idea and to focus on that word throughout the year.  So here is goes for me!  My word and the word for our family this year is BLESSINGS.  I am choosing blessings because this is what I foresee.  I will be finishing school in 6 months and I cannot wait!  I have six classes left and I will be done!!  That right there is a HUGE BLESSING!!  Paul will be so excited too, since I will be able to help around more with chores again!  My girl will be turning 6, Paul and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage this year, and we will be making changes to our adoption.  I won't elaborate on that right now, but will soon.  These are only a few of the things I know will be taking place this year, I am sure there will be many more exciting and not so exciting BLESSINGS taking place.  I look forward so much to being done with school, spending more time with my family, enjoying my summer, and relaxing this year.  So I am thanking God for another year and praying for BLESSINGS for us and for all of our friends and family! 

Happy New Year and Blessings to you in 2016!!