waiting.

Well, we are almost three months into “the wait”–but we’re also at about a year since things were set in motion for this adoption. I remember January of last year like it was yesterday – starting to think about how and when we’d want to expand our family {maybe starting at the end of 2012 – a year away}, and deciding to pray about it during our church’s 3-week Daniel fast. Little did we know that God would so very clearly tell us that he wanted us to start the adoption process. NOW.

The past year has been such a crazy ride. God has been faithful in every way, and has grown us both in ways I know are only possible because we said yes to this. I feel like it was one of the hardest yet one of the most incredible years of our marriage–the enemy sure wanted to come between us and make us fail, but our God is greater and He knit us together even more closely. One of my biggest fears was what our family/friends would think–and we’ve been blown away by everyone’s support and love. One of Jeff’s biggest fears was how to afford it financially–and we’ve been blown away by God’s provision and others’ generosity. I just took down our PayPal donation button because we’re pretty sure we’re done fundraising. To be at that point, and to be able to start replenishing our savings and saving money for whatever medical expenses we’re anticipating she may have–it’s SUCH a relief and a blessing.

But now… we wait. We probably won’t have many updates until we get a referral, because of the aspect of our adoption criteria. We’re just waiting for our precious daughter. I check the Waiting Child List every day… just in case our daughter is on there (that would be outside of our official “age request” but we are certainly open to going outside of that if God calls us to!). The waiting is hard. It’s already harder than I imagined. I thought I would be fine waiting for as long as we needed to – hey, the longer we wait, the older the boys will be and the easier it would be to bring a little sister home, right? But–I’m ready. Anytime. At the same time, I feel a complete peace that God’s timing is perfect and I rest in that.

I think I have to be content with this wait. I know there are lessons God has for me in it. Patience? has not always been my virtue. God continues to change my heart and open it, preparing me for whatever child/children he has for us. I can’t wait to see her face.

We went away this weekend, just the four of us, for the first time ever. Why we’ve never gotten away as a little family, I have no idea. We need to start doing it regularly. I remember family vacations growing up and they are some of my very favorite memories. I want the boys to have the same. Anyway, we spent a nice weekend in the mountains, hiking and picnicking, building fires, letting Tucker run free, and enjoying each others’ company. It was sweet. I fell in love with my three guys all over again. Not that there weren’t some moments–I mean, let’s be serious, we have 2 three-year-olds after all–but I did not want to come home. I think I convinced the guys we needed to move to the country. 😉

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So for now, I plan to do my best to enjoy however much time we have left as a family of four, with my guys–as a boy house (which I really, really love!) where I’m just the queen of the castle. 😉  I know it’s just going to get harder to wait but I don’t want to wish away this precious time with my husband and sons, either.  I’m praying I become more patient, more gentle, more engaged, and more in love with Him – and that He’d prepare my heart for our daughter!

{…and now it’s off to Created for Care tomorrow for my first time!  SO excited for this amazing adoptive mamas’ retreat and spending some time with friends old and new.  Lake Lanier, here I come!}

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Birthday girl

Today is Lauren’s birthday and the boys and I couldn’t be more excited about celebrating with her!  We are so spoiled having her in our lives and so it’s nice to return the favor every once in a while.  Lauren’s been a bit laid-up recently since surgery in December to repair a torn labrum.  Since then, I’ve taken on a larger “Mr. Mom” role (cue blooper music).  Let’s just say that I continue to be convinced that being a mom is a the hardest job on the planet.  Statements most definitely made by me in the last few weeks:

  • “Ok, I think the boys are down and asleep (approx. 8:30pm).  I’m gonna get ready for bed!”
  • “Is it cool if I take a nap while the boys are napping?”
  • “I think it’ll be more restful to go back to work”
  • “When do you clean the house?” not to be confused with…
  • “When do you go grocery shopping?”

Yeah, I think we’ve been pretty spoiled in the past.  Well baby, we love you and hope that today has been a special day for you!  You mean the world to us and we couldn’t do this without you.

P.S.  I’m happy to help in whatever way that I can while you’re recovering (for as long as that may be).  It’s been a joy to help take more care of our boys and I feel as though I’ve grown even closer to them and have enjoyed all most of it, but I will continue to pray nightly (and daily) for you to have a supernaturally fast healing!

All my love,

-J

Christmas 2012

…only a little lot late.   Oops.

We really don’t have a lot of photos compared to past years – I guess this is the year of minimal, not-great photos since I was crippled and poor Jeff was stuck doing everything himself!  So we just passed the camera a bit.

On the Saturday before, we did Christmas with the Pyles family.  It was a good time and the boys were so much fun helping everyone open their gifts (and getting SO excited about their own) – but sadly we never got a family photo because this was the day I got really nauseous and couldn’t keep my pain meds down so I was pretty much out of it all day – I’m sorry y’all!  You know I hate not getting family photos! 🙂   Thank you all for making a delicious dinner and taking care of me!

Sunday was our church’s Christmas service since we couldn’t get the building for Christmas Eve, so on Christmas Eve we just had a nice laidback evening at our house with my family.  We did our traditional fondue and Jeff, my dad, and Uncle Kyle assembled the bunk beds for the big reveal!  The boys went nuts – it was awesome.  Jeff did an awesome job building it himself–love having a handy husband!

We enjoyed Christmas morning at our house with just the four of us (always precious to me) and then joined my family at my parents’ house for breakfast, presents, and dinner.  It was definitely more of a low-key Christmas this year, especially due to me recovering, but we actually really enjoyed that for a change.  It didn’t feel rushed and we got to really enjoy each other and remember the real reason we celebrate.  So nice!

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Assembling the bunk beds – IMG_4058

Seeing their bed for the first time…I love the boys’ identical reactions in the next 3 photos – IMG_4068 IMG_4069 IMG_4070 IMG_4063 IMG_4081 IMG_4099 IMG_4105 IMG_4115 IMG_4116 IMG_4130 IMG_4147

Pieces of the Pyles’ 1.10.13

{HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASH! We love you!}

I haven’t been taking many (well, any!) pictures with my one arm… Thank you, Lord, for iPhones.

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{cute C helping take down Christmas lights}

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{the boys have taken to sleeping together in the bottom double bed. The first night they did this, I went in to check on them & found them asleep HOLDING HANDS. Be still my heart!}

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{I heart cute little thumb-suckers… and their bunnies… in their jammies}

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{HANELLE WAS BORN!  One of my oldest & dearest friends, Jenny, had a daughter on New Year’s Eve.  SO happy for J & T. She is gorgeous!}

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{smitten.}

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{fun day at Discovery Place uptown celebrating our buddy Jones’ birthday! Why do my sons look so old??}

2 months waiting!

Sorry we’ve been pretty MIA on the blog lately. I had shoulder surgery on the 20th, which went well but ended up being more invasive/more of a repair than we’d thought, & the recovery was a little rough. BUT now I am feeling pretty good & back in action… well, sort of, except in a sling for 4-6 weeks total and no lifting with my left arm for 3 months. Other than that though 😉 Glad it’s fixed!

Today marks TWO MONTHS waiting for our girl! And we have some AMAZING news to celebrate the occasion!

I am so humbled and overjoyed to share that we MET and EXCEEDED our $4000 matching amount for the matching grant! With the doubling adding another $4000, and some additional funds from a little Christmas card photo mini-fundraiser I did, we raised $9400!

Yes. My jaw dropped too. Add in the $6500 grant from JSC and we raised/were given about $16,000 {yes, you read that right, sixteen thousand dollars} in TWO. AND A HALF. MONTHS.

GOD IS SO GOOD! I had faith, but has totally blown me away and continues to do so. Lord, let us never doubt that you will provide!! And if anyone is considering adoption but the financial aspect is holding you back–please don’t let it stop you. We can say with certainty that God will move those mountains and make it possible!

Thank you is never enough. All of you who donated – we are completely overwhelmed and so grateful. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to us. Thank you for loving us, loving a little girl you haven’t even met yet, and helping make it possible for an orphan to become a daughter…OUR daughter. You are forever a part of her story! I am continuing to write down every name to show her someday. 🙂

Since tonight was our second DTE anniversary, we made another Ethiopian dish – mesir wat – to celebrate 2 months waiting. I’m really enjoying trying new recipes/foods and getting to know our daughter’s culture as we wait to see her sweet face!

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Praise God from whom all blessings flow!