Sunday, December 16

Adoption Update

I apologize to those who have been patiently waiting for an update on our adoption. We knew from the start that this wasn't going to be an easy journey, that there would be hard times. Even though we told ourselves this, it doesn't make those times any easier. As humans, with finite minds, we want the question WHY answered, but God wants us to trust Him and not worry about the why. I think that's the lesson Jeremy and I can take away from this past year. We are to walk in faith blindly, with confidence.

Meanwhile, Jeremy and I have enjoyed being closer to both our families this past year while at the same time missing those who for so long were like family to us. Our situation hasn't been anything like we thought it would, and we continue down this path that God has laid out for us.

When we moved to Georgia last November, we assumed that we would quickly continue the adoption process, or at least from where we left off in Florida- which was waiting to be chosen by a birth mom. However, that wasn't God's plan. I have gone through many emotions, from completely wanting to give up, to forging ahead without God's guidance. I tried to remain focused on the adoption but other areas of my life did and still do require most of my attention. I'm hoping to one day look back at this time and think of it as a refining 'fire', that God was taking this time to mold me into a better mother for my child.

During one of my "I'll do it myself" phases, I decided that Jeremy and I would just adopt through the Dept of Children and Family Services.We attended a 7 week IMPACT program, filled out most of the paperwork, and got our fingerprints done AGAIN (my 4th time). However, the more details we found out, the less peace we had, but I continued to justify it in my mind. So what if we can't get a newborn (unless we wanted to be put on a 5 year waiting list). We would just get a sibling group, and hope for two under the age of five. 

The day I called Bethany Christian Services, our adoption agency, to let them know that we had decided to adopt through the state rather than them, I found out that we could do a state adoption THROUGH our Christian agency! Since that day, things have progressed smoothly once again. No, we don't have all the answers, and we don't have everything figured out, but we don't have to. We are taking it a day, a week, at a time. This time, however, I am walking confidently through faith, letting God lead.

Jeremy and I only have TWO things left to do and we will be home study ready. It's taken more than a year, but I know God's timing is always best. My sister, a nurse, referred me to a general practitioner who had also adopted. The doctor shared with me that her son had been born the same month they had turned in their adoption paperwork. Two years later, they met him for the first time and brought him home from Russia.. How awesome is that?  It reminded me that God knows me, Jeremy and our future child, who may not even be born yet. His timing and plan are perfect. Yes, it's hard. No, I don't know why or how. Yes, I may bawl my eyes out at the ignorant comments made to me because I am getting more and more emotional as this journey continues, but that's just because my heart is so ready to be a mother to my child, whatever race, sex, ethnicity, he/she may be. I can't wait to see Jeremy as a father, and I can't wait to tell this child how much he/she was loved and prayed for.

Monday, July 16

Possible Solutions on our Wilderness JJourney

WOW! Isn't God amazing? I just love when He makes sure I hear a message from Him. 

A few weeks ago, I was offered a job that seemed to come from God, as it was perfectly suited for me. I was so relieved and thought we were finally coming out of our wilderness. However, two weeks later, the lady who hired me called me to say she had changed her mind. I had reached 'rock bottom'. I had no idea what we were going to do. I've been worrying about our situation, trying to figure out a solution.

Yesterday in Sunday school, our teacher gave a testimony about how HE had figured out a solution to a problem, but when the problem became bigger, he quickly realized that he needed GOD to figure it out, not him. So, that's kind of how I feel. I had figured out how to start getting us our of this situation, and God took that solution away. Thanks to our teacher, now I'm excited to see what God is going to do in this situation. 

Luckily, he also helped me realized my next step in this wilderness journey: changing my worry into faith in God. I have NO idea how this is going to work out. I know God will, but I still worry until he does. Our teacher pointed out that worry is the ultimate sin. It's like slapping God in the face. So, now that I've been reminded of that, I will pray through my worry.  

This morning, I continued my bible study of One in a Million by Pricilla Schrier. There were so many messages in there from God designed specifically for me! During the Israelite's journey, they were running out of water when they saw an oasis. They thought THEY had found the solution to their problem, but the waters were bitter. God taught them the lesson of relying on Him for answers to our problems. When they cried otu to Him, He gave them the solution, throw a tree in the water and it became sweet. 

"Everything He leads us to, even Marah, is for a specific reason. Marahs posistion us to put our hope not in ourselves, or in the world, but in God. We can't anticipate and provide for life's trials, but God can and does. THE LORD WANTS US TO THIRST NOT AFTER A QUICK FIX TO OUR PROBLEMS BUT AFTER THE LIFE ALTERING REFRESHMENT OF HIS PROVISION."
Ps. 63:1 "Oh God, You are my God. I shall seek you earnestly. My soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water."

The lyrics to a song based on Isaiah 61:3:
He gives beauty for ashes 
Strength for fear 
Gladness for mourning 
Peace for despair 

When sorrow seems to surround you 
When suffering hangs heavy oer your head 
Know that tomorrow brings 
Wholeness and healing 
God knows your need 
Just believe what He said 

He gives beauty for ashes 
Strength for fearGladness for mourning 
Peace for despair 

When what youve done keeps you from moving on 
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart 
Know that forgiveness brings 
Wholeness and healing 
God knows your need 
Just believe what He said 

He gives beauty for ashes 
Strength for fearGladness for mourning 
Peace for despair 

I once was lost but God has found me 
Though I was bound Ive been set free 
Ive been made righteous in His sight 
A display of His splendor all can see 

He gives beauty for ashes 
Strength for fearGladness for mourning 
Peace for despair 

Wednesday, May 30

Cinch! One Month Later

Well, it's been a month since I started back on my Cinch! Healthy Eating Plan. Of course, there were a few times I completely blew it for a day or two, but for the most part I stuck with it. My mother and I went to the beach Memorial Day weekend, and I felt more comfortable in a bikini than I did a month ago. It wasn't much of a change, b/c I didn't work out, but it was enough that I was proud of myself. I still have a hard time eating within an hour of getting up, so that will be my goal for the next month. 

I've also started back on my daily Bible reading. Our church has put emphasis on everyone reading the Bible through in a year, and I'm trying. I got majorly behind when I hit Leviticus, but I'm past it and steadily continuing on. 

This past month has been one of the hardest I've had in years. I know God's timing and will for our lives is the best thing for us, but it doesn't make it any easier. Luckily, I seem to be more confident and at peace now than I did a month ago even though our circumstances haven't changed. 

Sunday, April 29

Back to Routine

Today was Day 1 of my new healthy eating plan- CINCH! by Cynthia Sass. I did this plan several months ago, and loved it, but life got in the way so I stopped. I'm determined to stick with it for 21 days (amount of time to set a new habit). CINCH requires that you eat within an hour of getting up, and then every four hours after that. It requires you to eat 5 items at each meal:
1.) Lean Protein (scrambled eggs shown above)
2.) Whole Grain (whole wheat toast)
3.) Healthy Fat (walnuts)
4.) Produce (dried cranberries- but I plan on eating carrots later to add to this)
5.) SASS spices (cinnamon on my toast)

I like this plan because I always have plenty to eat, sometimes too much. It does take planning to make sure you have each item at each meal, but it's worth it to me. I love knowing that I'm giving my body all the nutrients it needs! 

Next project: Back to exercising regularly!

Monday, April 23

A typical Monday for an OCD Housewife Princess

      Last week I quit my job. I am tired of working for people who care more about the bottom line than about what achieving the bottom line does to others. I am ready to "Make a Difference," as my pastor, Stephen Peeples of Roopville Road Baptist Church, said yesterday. There's a lot more to this decision than I'd care to share right now, but all that matters is that I am happy with it.
      Today is the start of something beautiful..... or NOT! I prioritized all the things I hope to accomplish around the house, and unfortunately, the tub drain won the prize. Jeremy and I have lived in this house since mid-November, and the tub drain doesn't have a hair catcher, and that's all I'm going to say about that, oh and EWWWWW!
      The fact that I have never been a fan of drain cleaners could have something to do with the horror stories my parents told me in hopes that I would be cautious in using them. Well, I'm cautious- I don't use them. I do not care to lose my eye brows, lovely complexion, or my entire bathroom. 
      So, thanks to a wonderful website called PINTEREST, and the 'pin' that I discovered which linked to a blog named Ask AnnaI discovered a 'green' way to clean household drains. This is what she says:

1. Put a pot of water on your oven and turn the oven on high to start boiling the water.
2. Meanwhile pour baking soda down the drain.  Baking soda has the ability to neutralize fatty acids so it will work and eating away the grime while you are waiting for the water to boil.
3. Once the water has reached a rolling boil remove it from the stove and pour it down the drain.
4. Let the water and baking soda work at decomposing and sterilizing the grime for 10 minutes.
5. After 10 minutes has expired pour 1 cup of bleach down the drain to completely kill any remaining mildew or bacteria.  

Because we use our sinks multiple times on a daily basis I recommend repeating this process every few months.  Repeating this process on a regular basis will keep the "creepy black stuff" from accumulating and clogging your sink.  It will also keep the nasty mildew smell at bay.

Good luck and have fun conquering the "creep black stuff"!

It took my less than an hour, using household cleaners I already had, and now we can take a shower without standing in three inches of water (yes, I know, I let it get too far). You're welcome, honey. 

And this is all in a days work for an OCD Housewife Princess.

Friday, February 10

We've been contacted. Please Pray.

Several times during this adoption process Jeremy and I have been contacted by third parties, telling us of mothers thinking about putting their child up for adoption. Each time we offered to sit down and talk with the mothers, but it never happened. I, being the overly emotional self that I am, would ride that roller coaster of emotions- Very excited, hopeful, scared, then ultimately disappointed. This is all experienced usually within a day or two. Then the ultimate came. Our adoption agency contacted us about a possible baby. I rode that roller coaster around and around for a very intense 3 hours. I have never experienced anything like that and don't want to ever again.

So you can see my scarred little heart is a bit more cautious now. This week we were approached by an acquaintance whose girlfriend is pregnant and they are considering adoption due to financial reasons. This is the first time a birth parent has contacted us directly. I didn't even react with excitement. My heart is scared to hope.  I considered not sharing with my family and close friends, b/c I didn't want to have to react to their excitement and hope. Jeremy has spoken with this acquaintance several times over the past few days, and gave him my cell phone number to give to his girlfriend. I pray she calls. I don't hope, my heart can't take that, but I pray.

Being the planner that I am, I'm already researching interstate private adoptions and possible attorneys. I can handle the details of this, just not the emotions. I have to remind myself that God has a plan, and His timing is best.

As expected, nothing panned out. I'm glad that I was better prepared for it this time, and I'm still praying for both expectant parents.

Monday, January 30

Dragons and Steamducks.

Finally getting a job and insurance means that we can finally move forward with the adoption.  I feel like this adoption is a full time job by itself since I've spent the last two weeks on paperwork and I'm still not done. However, planning my sister's baby shower, and buying my soon to be born nephew presents has me getting baby fever again. I'm so excited to finally meet the child God has picked out for us, and to see him/her grow! 

Thanks to PINTEREST (my new addiction), I've got so many wonderfully unique ideas! 

Below are some of the images:

Wednesday, January 11

God works in mysterious ways!

So, I shared how Jeremy and I moved back to GA and how we ended up not having jobs like we thought. One of the many things I did in my job search was sign on with a local staffing agency. They didn't call with anything until after Christmas, and even then it was a two day temp job. I really was relying on myself to find a job when they called me. The lady explained that it was an office/clerical/ management  job with a company located in the small town my grandparents and mom lived in, which is right next to my small town. Since it's so small, and we've been living there since my grandparents were born, I was curious as to the name, but when she responded, I was floored. As I was on the phone with her, I was sitting at my grandparents house. My papa built a house on the same land his parents owned. Next to him, his sister and her husband built a house and started a business. They do many things, but the main thing I know they do is build handlebars for Harley Davidson. I told the lady that I could walk to a window and see the business and that it was owned by family. She called them back and I was given the job! I started the next day, not really sure of the job specifics, just thankful for a paying full time job with benefits so we could get our home study for the adoption done. However, during the first day I realized that this job had been spiritually designed with me in mind. It's a very laid back, family oriented office that could really use an OCD overachiever like me. I'm very excited to see how it develops. I love how God works things out. If I could have designed my dream job, it would be something like I'm imagining this will turn out to be. One of the best parts, I get to go to my grandparents house for lunch each day, since they're right next door. Things sure have changed. When we were living in Florida, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would probably not be around my grandparents for their last years of life. Now, I get to see them daily! 

Monday, January 2

Life in Georgia

Jeremy and I have been living in Georgia, close to my family for almost two months. We both still don't have full time jobs, but God has provided. I'm cleaning a few houses and Jeremy's been able to work from home part time for the company he left in Florida. Next week he'll be going down to work in the office. I even had a two day temp job at some rubber making plant. That was an experience! Everyone there kept making fun of my because I wore gloves and used about a thousand Clorox cloths to clean my work area. Even though I was working in the offices, it still had that black rubber dust everywhere! The shoes I wore are sitting sole side up in my bedroom until I have time to wash the black off the bottom. Everyone that I worked with during those two days were so nice. I had a great time and the main guy even asked for my contact information in case a job opened up in the future. They described me as 'an interesting experience'. You know I kept them laughing. 

Since I haven't found a job yet, I've also been blessed to be able to help out my grandparents. I've worked diligently to get my grandmothers houses clean and have taken them all to the doctor several times. Someone asked me if it bothered me that I was doing so much for them. I responded that I honestly thought I would have to miss their last years on earth because I was living in Florida, and now that I'm not, I'm so happy that I will spend as much time with them as possible to make up for the last 5 years. One of my grandmothers had several mini strokes and now has short term memory problems. For example, she asked me six different times what my sisters and I were doing for New Years. I am praying that God works it out so that I'm able to only work a part time job just so I can spend more time with them. 

I can't remember if I've blogged before about how quickly God directed us to our church home in Florida, but it was literally within the first week. I was so worried about finding a new church family, because our last one played such a special part in our lives. I honestly didn't even pray about it, because I didn't have faith that God would do the same thing again. However, I think He did. I'm so undeserving of His love. I get excited about Sunday mornings, and everyone I've met there so far has been very nice. There are two Sunday school classes we are excited to try, and the church even does Discipleship University on Wednesday nights! I know there probably won't be a class that could replace my Fit In Christ Jesus Girls from FBCPC, but I know God will lead us to the right place. 

There's not much new going on with the adoption. I really don't feel like we can do a home study until at least one of us has a full time job with insurance. I know that God's timing is best, but my heart has started to grow heavy. I'm surrounded by friends who are pregnant, or who have babies, toddlers, and young children. I thank God for blessing them, and I'm genuinely happy for them. I hear of so many who are in my situation who struggle with jealousy and bitterness, and I'm thankful that I don't. However, my desire to be a mother is more and more at the forefront of my mind. I can't wait to hold my own child in my arms and know that I don't have to give him/her back. I can't wait to implement things I've learned, been taught, or researched. I can't wait to listen for their small cry, knowing they are totally dependent on Jeremy and I, for love, comfort, warmth, food,  etc. I can't wait to tell my child that Jeremy and I semi-patiently waited on God to bring just the right one to us.