Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tick Tick Tick

We're over 1/2 through the year and I'm starting to feel panicked. As far as I know, the adoption tax credit has not been extended to 2012. Which means we have four short months left until we are no longer eligible for the refundable credit. The tax credit really is a blessing to so many families, including ours, as we prayerfully consider adoption. Having a placement before the end of the year would alleviate much of the financial burden that comes along with the adoption. I know that we're in good hands and that regardless of my desires, everything will happen in His time. Praying that the Lord can quiet my restless heart!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Monday, July 25, 2011

Why Am I Here??

I have been thinking a lot about the path that I'm going down. The journey that we're on has opened my eyes to something that is much bigger than myself. I always joke that I should have been a teacher...and in another life I would be. Not only because I love children but it's a great job for a working mom. It's also a way to touch the lives of children every single day. I have a few friends who are fabulous teachers. Their jobs are difficult (and sometimes downright hard) but they are giving back in a way that I am unable to.

So, since we don't just have the $$ sitting around for me to go back to school, I've been wondering what I'm supposed to do with my life. I have a passion for children. I love them. They make me happy and they are truly a reflection of heaven. They are little blessings that look at the world with complete abandon...something that we lose as we grow older. Adoption is a way of touching a life but I feel like there is so much more out there. I read blogs of families who adopt from remote parts of the world, where desperation lives and people are truly going "without". I see families who set up foundations to help others with the financial burden of adoption. I see families opening their home up to become foster parents. What can I do to make a difference? How can I serve the Lord?

Unfortunately, I have no answers to these questions but they are questions that have been on my heart recently. I know that my "gift" is the relationship I have with children. I want to leave an imprint of a life spent serving the Lord...I'm just not sure how it will play out. Maybe being a mother is how I will contribute but I feel like the Lord has great plans for me. I'm patiently waiting for His nudge in the right direction. I feel that my life needs to be much more than what it is now.

I hope that this passion I feel to find my corner of the world continues to impress upon my heart. Please pray for me as I open up my heart in search of an answer that has proved illusive to this point.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Keeping the Faith

God sometimes delivers us from evil we never see. Other times He parts raging oceans before our very eyes. Still other times He says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you...Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west."isa. 43:2,5)

-Excerpt from Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Road Less Traveled

I was sitting in church yesterday, listening to the pastor talk about how Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. How true it is. He also spoke of the poem below, specifically the line "I took the one [road] less traveled by, and that has made all the difference". It was one of those divine moments when you truly feel that the good Lord is only speaking to you.

When I titled this blog - The Road Less Traveled - I didn't realize the impact this would have on our journey. We are really taking the road less traveled and yet it is making all the difference. I have grown by leaps and bounds in my faith. I have a new appreciation for the man who stands beside me even when life is hard. I have learned to wholeheartedly love our friends and the wonderful adventures that happen through the gift of friendship. I have learned to open up, trust others and really see life for what it is. The road less traveled is hard and scary but I'm finding the ray of sunshine shining down to be more than I could hope for. This incredibly trying experience is a blessing in disguise. As my best friend was telling me, sometimes these trials allow us to hear the voice of God more acutely and to know that he is telling us to be patient...the best is yet to be.

I have been in an overwhelmingly good place with the adoption as the summer months stretch forward. I know, without a doubt, our story is just beginning and I'm trying my best to let the Creator work in his time. I still pray for our little angel, wherever he/she may be, I still pray that the Lord is preparing our hearts, minds, finances and sleep bank in preparation of a growing family. The difference is that I am now placing my trust in the Lord. For taking this road less traveled is making all the difference.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken. Robert Frost

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Finding My Voice

It probably seems that we are very open about our adoption experience and we are! We believe that sharing is a means of healing. Sharing also brings about a sense of fellowship. However, I've had to learn over the past year to allow the hurt to flow and that it's okay to cry. When I have really bad days I tend to get down on myself. I know that there are so many people out there with "real" problems - wives who have lost husbands in Iraq and Afghanistan, those facing a losing battle with cancer, families facing divorce and financial difficulties and then I think, who am I to be sad? What I have come to understand is that everyone is going through something. The infertility and adoption process is our cross to bear right now. There will be times in life that will, without doubt, be harder than what we are facing right now. But, I cannot minimize the pain that I feel or wish it to go away.

I have had a very successful (and I use that term loosely) past of pushing away very painful events and making them "okay". At some point, emotional neglect will catch up to you. Owning my hurt and acknowledging a sadness is not a sign of weakness. I have a loving husband who is beside me every step of the way, I have friends and family who want nothing more than to be there for us. It's just hard for me to depend on someone else for emotional support. I know that not everyone is interested in hearing about my problems but the people that love me will always be there for me.

I feel like this realization just hit me a few weeks ago. I was feeling very down and I didn't want to share with anyone, not even Wesley. And then, I made myself stop. My HUSBAND loves me and I can share anything with him. If I can't share my feelings with him then there is a problem. I have tried to make a conscious effort to be more open with those close to me - to ask for prayers and encouragement when I need it. It's a work in progress but acknowledging a problem is half the battle.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Crazy Plan

I was checking out a website yesterday that posts profiles of available children through foster-adopt. I stumbled across this little girls profile and something just told me to pick up the phone and inquire about her. To make a long story short, the first lady I spoke with didn't want to give me any information unless my social worker called.

I then called my social worker. She was less than happy that I had veered off course and was now inquiring about this little girl available to adopt through the foster system. She gave me a myriad of reasons as to why we shouldn't be considering this. I got off the phone with her and decided to call around on my own. Yes I'm a control freak but I also knew I could get the answers I needed.

I was able to speak with a very helpful social worker in Chicago who shared this child's background information with me (or what little she had access to). She is currently in foster care about 20 minutes from us. She has a medical condition that is treated with medication and monitoring. She is just too sweet.

The dream died all to fast when the website took her profile down yesterday afternoon because they had an overwhelming number of inquiries about her. They will begin the process of selecting a family for her from the profiles that were submitted. What we found out is that we would have to become certified through the Missouri STARS program in order to be eligible to adopt waiting children from foster care. My heart breaks because I could just see her becoming a part of our family.

What is funny is that adopting an older child is a viable option for us - we just had no reason to consider it as we go through the infant adoption process. I'm trying to be better at listening to God's voice. It was beyond scary to even pick up the phone and ask about this child but I'm glad I did. I pray that the family that is chosen for her is the perfect fit. She seems like a very sweet girl who deserves a bright future!

My heart is open to God's way. The road is full of twists and turns and I'm trying my best to not let fear dictate my path in life. I know our social worker though I had gone off the deep end...I don't care. I'm just happy to see myself taking these small leaps of faith as I feel called to do. Wesley and I might decide to take the STARS class even though we are not eligible for this child - or we might decide to wait a little bit. I know we'll be praying about it and I know we will follow our hearts.