Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Music for the Soul


From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same
You are amazing God
You are amazing God 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Learning How To Pray

I have started reading a book at the suggestion of a dear friend called The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. I'm only half way into this reading and what a wake up call it has been! This book is about learning how to pray for your husband in a way that you have never done before. It is a thirty-day challenge. Reading a few short pages per day and then saying the prayer at the end of the chapter that will lift your husband up in prayer to the Lord. The book is quite good, with the first chapter focusing on you. Teaching you to let go of anything that holds you back so that you are able to pray for your husband with abandon. The hope is that while you are praying for your husband, the Lord is not only changing your husband but changing you as well. Every day you pray for a specific aspect of your husbands life...his job, his health, his temptations etc. I am a firm believer of setting your marriage on the rock of the Lord so that when the trials of life rain down, a firm foundation is in place to shield you. Wesley and I are imperfect in every sense...what makes us think that two imperfect people would ever be able to have a successful marriage? The key to a successful marriage is pairing two imperfect individuals with our perfect Creator. With God at the center and heart of our marriage we will be able to face the storms of life. So far, Wesley and I have weathered the infertility storm better than I could have hoped for.  I am excited to pray for my husband on a very real, deep level that forces me out of my comfort zone!

I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me. Psalm 13:6

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Inspired by Church

Sitting in church on Sunday and the message was "I do not need to be happy.  I need to be joyful".  The entire sermon was based on the premise that happiness comes from "stuff".  It comes from the outside in.  But joy.  Joy comes from the inside out.  We have joy when we fill our lives with the fruit of the spirit.

So many times I become distracted by my "stuff".  We're currently thinking of purchasing a new car.  I think the baby needs an SUV.  I would feel safer in something bigger than my current car.  But...and I know this to be self evident...I find some type of value in a nice, new car.  It's wrong but it's true.  The message at church today is that when you bring things in your life to obtain a sense of value, eventually the tank runs out and you have to fill it up again.  It's a vicious cycle of trying to find the next best thing to make you temporarily happy.  An Ipad will make me happy until something newer comes along.  A new purse will make me happy until it starts to show wear.  A new car will make me happy until 3 years from now when I want a new one.

The fruit of the spirit is something that we can possess inside ourselves.  We do not need money to purchase it and no amount of labor will bear these things.  We can find these things by sitting in prayer with the Lord.  We can find these things by partaking in fellowship with other believers.  It sounds so simple and yet it is so difficult.

Happiness versus joy.  I want to have joy.  I want to thank the good Lord for providing me with a cute home to raise a family in.  It may not be a castle but these four walls hold a lot of love.  I want to thank the Lord for my family, health, friends and husband.  We are abundantly blessed!  I hope that in my days to come I can weed out all the distractions and start being joyful for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me!

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Little Baby Inspiration

A brief repreve from the "heavy" adoption posts and now something fun to look at!

For those of you out there who do not have a pinterest are seriously missing out.  Pinterest is my "go to" website when I want to get sucked in for an hour...or two!  I have found so much baby inspiration out there and the best thing about pinterest is that I have a single location to store all those baby ideas!  Without further ado here is my baby inspiration posts.  I can't wait to decorate a nursery!!

This is one of my very favorite gender neutral rooms.  I love all the colors and it looks so warm and inviting.  Makes me want to rock the days away in that chair.  Well, maybe not that exact chair.  Something more comfortable would do!

As a lover of all things purple...that chair had me at hello.  It is fabulous!!

This has to be an all time favorite.  Love the chair, the rug, the curtains, the sunny yellow crib.  Sigh!

Love love love this wall!  So subtle yet so amazing!  Perfect for a little guys room.

Helloooooooo Glam!  I'm not sure that an all white nursery is all that practical.  But, the mirrored dresser, the rug, the sweet bedding.  I'm in love with it all!

Truly a favorite!  Everything is so soft and cozy.  I especially love the large photo frames in the corner. Too bad patterned chairs are so pricey!  

In reviewing all my inspiration it looks like the girls overwhelmingly win out over the boys.  I need to hop on over to pinterest and find some more baby boy inspiration!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Music for the Soul

"Praise You In This Storm"

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Little Birdy Told Me

An unlikely source has helped with our adoption!  A co-worker of mine told Wes and I to check out this agency in St. Louis. To be honest, I had never heard of the agency and I was a bit skeptical. It took over a week of e-mailing back and forth for me to finally call the agency and speak with the social worker about our case. Wesley and I went in yesterday to meet with her and we LOVED her! She was so warm, friendly and extremely knowledgeable about the process. You could tell she has a true passion for what she does. She breathed some life back into our adoption plan and her enthusiasm was contagious

We have decided to work with this agency, in addition to Good Shepherd. They are still a small program but both Wesley and I have a really good feeling about it! Their fees are extremely reasonable and I'm hopeful that we will have a placement with them! God is good and it's no coincidence in the timing of these events. We've been searching and praying for which path to take. Just last week I was certain that it would be after the first of the year before we decided to join another agency and here we are! I am thankful for the good Lord's timing. We needed a bit of a pick-me-up as we've been feeling like we've "stalled" out a bit. Keep us in our prayers and we begin wait #2!

We make our own plans but the Lord gives the right answer. Proverbs 16:1

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thankful for the Wait

I know that I have spoken about the frustration of the adoption process and how we are so excited to become parents but sometimes...just sometimes...I'm thankful for the wait. I am thankful because we can get our finances in order. I am thankful because I am able to spend uninterrupted time with my husband. I am thankful for impromptu gathering with friends without having to worry about a babysitter. I know that once we have a child we will gladly trade in these luxuries however right now we are counting this time as a blessing. I know that this is precious time that we will never get back once we have children so I'm trying to make the most of our wait by living life. Going out with friends, going to Cardinal games, taking weekend getaway trips and just being together. I have felt an overwhelming peace over the last couple months as I have continually prayed and tried to lay this burden at the feet of Jesus. My cup runneth is so abundantly sweet!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Beautiful Mess

Even though I'm at peace with our wait, I still fill a strong pull to make something happen sooner rather than later. Such that, we are considering moving to a different adoption agency. We currently have three that we are looking into: a) Lutheran Family Services b) Bethany Christian Services and c) American Adoptions. Here lies the problem. I don't want to "jump ship" with our current agency just because we feel like nothing is happening. But, in all reality, they have such a small number of birth mothers a year that the likelihood of us adopting through them is small - not impossible - just small. Lutheran Family Services will up our adoption costs by approximately $6,000 than the agency we are currently at. Lutheran has told me that they have placed 9 babies this year (with a good friend of mine being one of those families...God is Great!). Bethany has placed 19 babies this year and their fees will be approximately $12,000 more than what we would currently pay with Catholic Charities. Lastly, there is American Adoptions. We would have to place ourselves with the Agency Assisted program, which means we would be willing to accept a child with an ethnicity of African American. Those fees put us roughly $11,000 (plus travel) more than what we are currently projected to pay.

My husband's favorite phrase is "you can't put a price on our family". He's right, of course. But, I also realize that we have other considerations to take into account; maternity leave (or lack thereof), baby supplies, nursery supplies, how we would come up with the extra funds and how we would (potentially) re-pay those funds if we miss out on the adoption tax credit. I hate how complicated adoption has to be. It's not only emotionally draining, it's financially daunting.

We're going to be praying that God leads our heart one way or another. I don't want to choose an agency that has the most birthparent(s), rather, I want to choose an agency that not only has a great placement rate but an agency that is fair to all parties, including the birth mothers. I want to make sure that the agency doesn't "lure" them in with grand promises and then drop them after placement. I want an agency that is going to help with post-placement services such as counseling. I hate to think of a birthmom who has no resources available to her when she is in a particularly vulnerable position. I have been reading a lot of reviews online. Some agencies are better than others at post-placement contact with the birthmothers. We'll be praying that the good Lord leads us in the right direction. I think we will (more than likely) stay with our agency through the year and make a decision at the first of the year as to what we are going to do.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

August 8th...the best day of my life. It sounds cliche but it's true. Two years ago I married my husband, on a hot August day, surrounded by our family and friends. I can still feel the butterfiles in my stomach right before I walked down the aisle. I can still hear the sounds of champagne glasses clinking in celebratory toasts. I loved every single moment of that day. It didn't matter that it was so hot that day and that my dress weighed 100lbs. All that mattered was Wesley and me, starting our life together.

These past two years have been nothing short of wonderful despite many obstacles. We started our marriage living with Wesley's parents while he finished the police academy. We shared in the struggle of Wes finding a job...going through a second police academy...getting the news of infertility...buying our first home...adopting a dog...this is our life. It might be crazy and stressful but it's ours and I'm so proud of the couple we are. Wesley has taught me so much in our short time together. He has taught me the value of patience and understanding. He has shown me that you shouldn't judge people, instead accept them for where they are in life's journey. He has, in his own quiet way, been a light of God's grace. He is the one person that will stand beside me. He's seen me at my worst and still loves me for who I am when I'm at my best. I have gained a second family with the Pierce's and I love them so much. It feels like I've always been one of them. I have watched as Wesley seemlessly became a forever member of my family. It's such a blessing to stand aside and watch my dreams become reality.

I am beyond blessed. I only hope that I can be the wife that he deserves. I thank God everyday for joining us together as one on August 8th. I treasure our memories from the past and look forward to the future.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Feel Unprepared

As a hopeful adoptive parent I try to prepare myself in many ways and yet, as I sit here, this crazy adoption ride we're on feels so much like a dream. It almost feels like a dream that will never materialize. I know we have baby gear sitting in our basement and that we have an empty room just waiting for a baby and yet, those dreams can somehow seem like they belong to someone else. What I really envy about pregnant women is that they can feel the presence of their child long before they give birth. It's like their maternal instincts get 9 whole months to know that they are working towards a goal. The hard part with preparing for adoption is that there is absolutely no way to know how long you will wait. There is no way to adequately prepare yourself, mind, body and soul for the changes that await. It's scary to wonder if I'm "really" ready for the challenge. I often sit and think about what type of mom I "hope" to be; not knowing if I'll ever come close to the vision I have in my head.

I think that's why prayer is so helpful to me. In my quiet place, I find rest and comfort. I know that I don't hold the answers and I know it's okay to be scared. Scared of the unknown. Heaven knows that I am a PLANNER. I like to plan things in advance, with no curve balls up ahead. What adoption promises is that you do not hold the cards, you do not call the shots and things definitely don't happen the way you plan for them to. I guess that's okay and it's a lesson that, truth be told, is probably preparing me for motherhood in a far better way than I realize. But, I still feel unprepared no matter how many blogs, books, articles, conversations I have with family and all seems so surreal. Clearly, people adopt every day. I know we will have our time.

I'm not sure what more I can do to make this journey seem real. But right now I'm trying to bask in the simple pleasures of child-free life. Even something as simple as laying on the couch watching really bad reality television, eating cereal for dinner or deciding that I need to go to bed at 9 p.m. (who are we kidding...I like to be in bed by 9 p.m. every night) are things that will be but a distant memory once we have children. I will keep praying that my heart feels prepared for what's to come and that our adoption story becomes not just a story but a reality.