Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Notebook



Recently I met with a dear friend of mine who has so encouraged me and blessed me over the years. At the very end of our meeting, she handed me a notebook. She shared with me that this notebook was to be used to write letters, scripture, praise songs, or anything that came to mind that helps us as we journey along in our adoption. No matter how long it is.

My very first entry in it was today and this is what I said:

Dear ___,

Today it is 2 days before Christmas. My arms so ache to hold you. I honestly thought I would have had you by now.

I often wonder if you are born yet. Or if you have even been conceived. I have so many questions yet unanswered. The joy I will have in calling you mine will be unspeakable!

I pray for God to hold you close this Christmas and next year it will be my turn to hold you!

I love you,

Mama


Thank you dear friend for acknowledging that this child is ours long before it comes into our home. I had a journal for each of my girls pregnancies and I've always wanted to be able to pass along a journal to this baby as well.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thank You

To the person who sent us an anonymous check! Once again, I'm not sure if you are the same person/people or not. I don't need to know though. All I know is that you are following God's leading and He is continually showing us that He cares about us through the anonymous giving.

Blessings!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

dis·ap·point·ment

NOUN:

1.
a. The act of disappointing.
b. The condition or feeling of being disappointed.
2. One that disappoints.

Today I have disappointment. Yesterday morning we got a phone call from our social worker about a situation. As I found out more and more details about the situation, I could not help but be excited. The baby was to be born Monday (yes, this next Monday) and we were going to be there and be involved from the minute the baby was born. I spent the majority of my day talking on the phone yesterday to two different social workers and then hanging up with them to then call my husband. Talk about emotional exhaustion!

At 8:30 last night we got the final call-they chose the other family, not us. What major disappointment! Oh how Chris and I tried to guard our hearts knowing that this could be the result. However, it is human nature to want to bond with the situation as this baby could have been ours. In our eyes, this sitution seemed perfect. However, in God's it must not have been.

While I do have disappointment today, I also know that I am not without hope. He still guides and reigns in this adoption. He has THE perfect baby for us. We just again have to wait.

I choose to wait in hope...not disappointment!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Grants & Prayers

At this point in our adoption process, it really is a waiting game. Since we are waiting, there never is a whole lot to update you on. However, I still am doing my best on trying to update at least once a week. Often I just ask God to guide me and show me what He wants me to say.

This week, I just wanted to ask for your prayers. More on that in a bit.

An aquintance of mine who just adopted shared with us a new grant that they had applied for and received. We just filled out that paperwork the other night and hopefully today Chris remembered to go get it notorized. Here is where your prayers come in. We would, of course, love to receive this grant. Will you pray with us that we do? Any additional help in our adoption would give us a bit more peace of mind in saying "yes" to situations. Of course, we know that God in His awesomeness can provide for this adoption completely with or without this grant. However, I also know that we are needing some more peace right now on the finance end of the adoption. Maybe God has a different idea of how to show us that peace. Either way, just pray for us, okay? :)

Oh and if you remember from way back-we do still have 2 grants that we are waiting to hear on. The one, we can apply for every quarter (which we have done). If we don't hear back from them, that means we didn't get picked. I am praying that the third time is the charm as this is our third time applying and I honestly just want to be done with it! The other one is the grant that they are very particular on when they review your application. Meaning, unless you have been picked, they don't review you. I'm praying for patience and the right timing on that one.

Otherwise, we are coming up on a year later for many of these grants which means that we can re-apply for them. Pray that I have the time to do that, because if you remember, it was a TON of paperwork. That wasn't so hard to do with one babe, but with two little ones at home, my time is precious.

Blessings to all of you and we so appreciate and love the prayers, encouragment, and love you give to us!

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Not Fair

Today I'm feeling melancholy concerning our adoption. I am so very happy when I hear that others have been able to adopt, yet it is my human nature to automatically feel a little down for myself.

It's not fair:

*that money talks
*that we don't have the funds to automatically say yes to any situation
*that we aren't as "marketable" because we already have a little babe at home.
*that we have it so strongly on our hearts to adopt, yet nothing has happened
*that we have been waiting a year and a half now

In the back on my mind, I know that God has the perfect plan and the perfect child waiting just for us. But today, I just want to scream, cry and shout that it is not fair!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Amazing!

I have come to realize that at this point in our adoption journey, it is hard to come up with posts for our blog as not a lot is happening in our adoption right now. We are at the waiting stage. Our profiles are out there, and now, we just wait. I was telling Chris this weekend, that in a way it is an odd disconnect. At any time, a birthmom could be looking at our profile, and we would have no idea. We just wait for a call.

It's funny how God works sometimes isn't it? Just when I had been feeling down because I don't have an update and there isn't much going on, He moves. It is actually pretty unbelievable. I had been just talking to God last weekend that I needed another sign to know that this adoption is still where He was leading us. Basically, that it is going somewhere. You would think by now that I would know that if I ask God for Him to show me something in our adoption, He will. Well yeah, I again, didn't really believe he would. On last Wednesday, Chris comes out to greet me in my van when I got home and here is how our conversation went:

Chris: "Hon, you aren't going to believe it!"
Me: "What?"
Chris: "We got a check from someone anonymously again."
Me: "Unbelievable! You are joking right?"
Chris: "Nope, we just got it in the mail from church."
Me: "Wow, I had totally just been asking God to show me again that He cares, and here He followed through! Again!"

Yep, pretty amazing isn't it? Just when I most need it, God follows through and shows me that He is in this. That He cares more than even Chris and I do.

So I again, don't know if you are on here reading this and if you are the same person/people who sent us money before, but it doesn't really matter. All that matters is that you have been faithful in allowing God to work through you and in turn bless us. I have always told Chris that each person who has committed to supporting us in prayer, or finncially, has helped a little one not only find his/her parents, but also helped a little one know Christ.

Thank you! By the way, I'm sorry this post did not come sooner. I had every intention of doing so, but we left to visit friends over the weekend and I didn't have time to update before we left.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Checking In

Update

I'll make this udpate short. Got a call yesterday afternoon. Birthmom picked a different family. We are at complete peace about it! God is good! :)

_____________________________________________________

Many of you have been asking why we switched our blog address. The main reason is for privacy. Our old address had our last name in it. While I fully believe that God will protect us and keep us safe, I did want to take precautions and be wise. We are also starting a family blog that will have a link on this blog. So again, I wanted our privacy to stay in tact.

Today I am feeling jittery and could use some prayers. We know that the birth mom has been shown our profile but is still making her decision. I have so many doubts and fears that I don't want to have at all. Again, we ask that you just pray for God to open the door if this is meant to be, or to close it if not. Ultimately, I want peace for the birth mom and ourselves.

Thanks to everyone! :) I will keep you updated.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sweet Peace

A dear friend has been praying over me all week for sweet peace. She encouraged me to continually thank God for His peace. So that is what I have been doing. I have been working in each aspect of my life this week, to praise and honor God through being thankful for His peace.

I'm going to ask that you would pray for our family any time you think of us this whole next week to have sweet peace. This past week, we gave our social worker permission to present our profile to a birth mom. This is our first official showing of our profile, and somehow that makes me so nervous. We have so many questions. What if she doesn't pick us? Will we be sad? What if she does? How will we feel? What if we can't come up with the money? What will we do? How do we parent 3 children under the age of 3? Will this be the only time our profile needs to ever be shown, or is this the first of many times?

The great thing about all these questions is that God already knows the answers ahead of time. What sweet peace there is in knowing that!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Changes

It has been an extremely busy week here with our girls. Zoelle has been showing her spirit wherever she goes and in whatever she does, so she is keeping me constantly on my toes. Meridian, we think is about to pop her very first tooth, so she has been struggling to fall asleep for nap time and bed time and then stay asleep. So, I haven't been on here to update much. They are still both darling though and I love them with all my heart:




Unfortunately, this post is actually going to be quite short (in terms of not really talking about the adoption). As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am doing some changing and updating to my blog. In addition to changing this blog, I am going to start a family blog as a way for our kids to have a record of their childhood.

One of the first and biggest changes to this blog will be the blog address. I wanted to forewarn you all of it first before I actually went ahead and changed it. Those of you who are my friends on facebook, I will post the new address there, so no worries. However, any who don't follow me on facebook, or aren't my friends there, just leave me a message and I will send you the new address once it is switched. I'll wait a few days in order that everyone that wants to sees this and is able to let me know they want the new address.

As far as the adoption goes, I will post more on that later (I promise) as we are in the process of making some decisions of whether to show our profile or not in a few different situations. Prayers are always appreciated! :)

Don't forget-leave me a comment, or somehow contact me for the new address if you want to keep following. Those of you who are faithful followers, our blog is staying the same as far as my posts will not disappear, etc. Just the address is changing right now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Not yet

I haven't had the time to come update, but our social worker let us know on Tuesday night that the birth mother was presented with enough families and therefore did not need our profile. So not yet.

We are VERY at peace about it and know that God has the perfect baby for us and we just need to be content in waiting. We are.

Oh, and we let our social worker know which agencies we want our profiles given to. So, we join the official waiting game. Very exciting, but also hard as we know the wait could be very long, or could be super short.

All we know right now is that it is not yet and we are content in that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Declare It!

And then God answered: "Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time.
Habakkuk 2:2 The Message

This past week, at our marriage group, God really spoke to my heart through the above scripture. I guess it had never occured to me to write down the vision that God had given us. I gently felt God nudging me on Thursday night to write it down in our blog. I know I have shared why we are doing this, but I've never just declared the vision. While I still don't feel comfortable sharing specifics on the vision God has given us, I will just declare now that God has called us to adopt, that it will happen, and that He will provide for us financially without us ever having to take out a loan.

Oh does it ever seem slow in coming. Yet God says to wait and that it is on its way, right on time! Praise God for that!

Meanwhile, we may possibly be sending out our profile and homestudy to our very first birth mom. Our social worker emailed us on Friday with a situation, and we have spent the weekend talking, praying, and seeking Godly counsel on this particular situation. We feel that we are to present our profile and homestudy, and that if we are chosen, or are not chosen, that this is God's will for our family. Pray with us as we now wait on God.

Also, look for upcoming changes to our blog. I have been praying for some time now about updating/revising our blog and starting a family blog so we have a record of life for the girls. However, I had no idea how to go about it on my own. Then, I came across a fellow mom and blogger who wrote a book about how to blog and she was giving a book away. I happen to enter the contest and low and behold, I won! :) So, be on the look out for changes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

He Cares

I am in a state of shock today. Yesterday I had a particularly hard day in regards to the adoption. However, I should probably back up and explain to you the decision we came to over the weekend.

Over the weekend, Chris and I had some time to talk about the adoption and if we want to move forward with it or not. Time and time again, we kept coming back to an adoption story that some friends of ours had in which they felt God calling them to adopt, but not take out any loans for it. God faithfully provided for them and today they have a beautiful little girl to demonstrate God's faithfulness. Essentially, we felt that God was reminding us that from the beginning He told us that He would provide and we had to keep trusting Him as He would be faithful to follow through with that promise. So, we wrote an e-mail to our social worker and told her that we do want to adopt and that we believe that God will be faithful to provide, so please distribute our profiles. Our social worker e-mailed us back yesterday and basically said that they can and will do that, but will not really "promote us" so to speak as we technically do not have the funds. Talk about another disappointment to us. I cried out to Chris and God yesterday...again. Oh, and Zoelle heard some of my crying too! :) Outside of those two, I only shared with my mom briefly about what happened. Thus, what happened today, shows me that God truly cares.

As a stay at home mom, getting the mail is the highlight of my day! Pathetic right? Well, it breaks up my day and is always fun to see what we got. Today, I was going through the mail and saw a check in there to us. I had no idea why or who would have sent it to us, so I opened it up. Inside was an anonymous gift given to us by someone who wants it to go towards our adoption expenses. There is no way anyone outside of my mom, husband, and Zoelle, that anyone could have known that yesterday I was crying out to God to show us where we are to go again. There is no way this particular person could have known when they sent this check that they were showing me that God cares. Pretty amazing, huh?

So, I just want to say thank you. First of all to God. Thank you for showing me you care and that you do not want us to give up, but you want us to continue to trust and follow you in this adoption journey. Secondly, thank you to whoever sent us this. I have no idea if you even read our blog, or if you even know us. All I know is that I am thankful that you were faithful to God in sending us that money. God knew that yes, we needed the money, but even more so, that I needed to see that He cared. Many blessings on you for allowing God to work in your life, and in return, ours.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our Story

Most of you don't truly "know" our story and so we thought after a year of being on this road to adoption, you deserve to know us completely.

Our story really begins with myself (Vanessa). From the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to do one thing: become a mom. Seriously, my parents and older sister can vouch for me in that I would play with dolls all day long. Growing up, I literally had all my "children" named and my life planned. At the age of 13, God gave to me the desire to adopt a child. I can't remember the details exactly on how it happened, but it was so real in me. In fact, I actually bought an African American Bitty Baby Doll because it was so strong in my heart that one day I would adopt.

Chris, on the other hand, was definitely your typical boy. All boy in fact. I think he can attest to the fact that he never gave a thought to growing up, getting married, and having a family at all. He had hunting and fishing on his brain pretty much exclusively.

Thus when Chris and I met and started even discussing dating, I let him know one thing. One day, I would adopt, so if that was not something he wanted to do, he needed to let me know right then. He was very honest with me and told me that it was something that have never occurred to him. Children and marriage were just something he had never thought of. He agreed to commit it to prayer. It was actually over time, watching the adoption of my siblings, that changed Chris' heart on adoption.

When we did get married, it was strong on our heart to adopt. We wanted to finish school first and then start a family. For me personally, I did not care if we adopted first or had a biological child, but for Chris, it was important that we have a biological child first. If that never happened, he would be fine with it, but he did want to give it a try. Thus, Zoelle came to us and we would not trade her for anything in the world. :) She brings spirit and spunk into our lives each day, but boy does that make our lives interesting!

Shortly after Zoelle was born, we felt that now was the time to adopt. We committed a year to praying about it and talking about what was right for us. Once Zoelle turned a year old, we decided to fulfill the plan God had for us. We are still waiting for that plan to be filled, but in the meantime God brought to us Meridian. Meridian was not totally planned, but she was not a complete surprise to us either. Before we ever got pregnant with her, we discussed with our social worker that aspect of getting pregnant (as we knew an adoption could take a long time and we didn't want our children too far apart in age). Thus Meridian came into our lives and what a sweet, content little babe she is.

When we first told people we were going to adopt, we got a ton of questions from friends and family.

"Why would you do that if you can have your own children?"
"I suppose you are adopting because your parents adopted your siblings?"
"What kind of child do you want?"
"What color of skin?"
"Are you crazy?"
"Why would you wreck your perfect family?"

The answer to all of these questions is: God. He has given me a passion to do this, and in turn given Chris this same passion. Those are just a few of the questions we have gotten, and perhaps I will dedicate another post some time to questions and answers that you have about us and our adoption process.

For now, I know that God has written the beginning of our story and that He knows the ending, but has yet to reveal it to us. I cannot wait to see the ending!

Monday, September 28, 2009

God Is In Control

Zoelle got a card this past week from her Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Tim that was a music card. Now Zoelle loves music and is so thrilled with the fact that every time she opens the card, the old Twila Paris song "God is in Control" blares from it. Me? I've learned to both love and hate that card this week.

You see Friday night our social worker came to our house at dinner time and quickly picked up our books. As she was on her way out the door, she says to us, "I'll just hang on to these books then until you know where you are at financially, ok?". I was completely confused. She went on to explain that unless we are all set financially, she would prefer not to hand out profile books to agencies who give them to their birth parents. The reason being that if a birth parent chooses us, we need to have all finances in hand. I totally understand, but am frustrated that this was not told to us before we agreed to renew our home study this year and before we had these profile books made up. We are once again at asking ourselves, "What do we do now? Where do we go from here? Can we even go on from here?" All very valid questions that we are struggling to find the answers to.

Right now we have a few options:

1. Go forward with handing out profile books and hope that if we get picked, our grants plus any money we have will cover the adoption. After all, we could get picked soon, or it could be months down the road.

2. Wait until we get the finances. However, we feel very strongly about not getting a loan from a bank, so that kind of shoots that option out the door.

3. Apply for an interest free adoption loan that several different places offer. This is something we would consider. Of course, it is still a loan, and it is not something we like, but again, an option.

After our social worker left on Friday night, we were pretty upset. So sad that we even got into a fight about what we should do. I went on a walk with the girls and Chris went to work as he had some work to finish up still. On the walk, tears just came streaming down my face and I cried out to God in my heart, "Why?". It is a question that I may never have the answer to. I prepared on Friday to write our little babe a sort of Goodbye Letter-in that I'll never actually get to meet you, but I need closure for myself type of letter. That night, once the girls were in bed and Chris was home, we talked about it and as I type this, we still don't know the answer. The only thing we know is that God does not want us to give up.

I honestly believe that it was no mistake that Grandma Cindy picked that particular card out for Zoelle this week. Every single stinkin' time I've needed it, Zoelle has come over to me and opened up that card and I have been reminded that God is in control. I've learned to love it because it reminds me that He is greater than all of this and is in control of it. He knows the outcome. But, I also hate it because it means that I need to give up my control to Him. Always, that is easier said then done.

Please be in prayer for us as we struggle with what to do, where to find the finances and to continually trust God in all of this.

After all...He is in control.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sometimes I wish...

*That we just magically had all the money in our lap so that when our social worker calls with a situation we could say yes and not have to even think about the money aspect of the adoption.

*That we hadn't shared with the world that we are adopting because it is so hard to have people either 1. ignore it and never acknowledge it 2. have to tell people we are STILL waiting.

*That we would have gone the foster to adopt route on waiting infants so that it would not cost us all this money.

*That God would just reveal to me His plan in all of this.

*That I wouldn't cry so much over this baby, for this baby.

*That I could cherish my time with my two girls more right now and not focus so much on the adoption.

*That this baby would be snuggled into my arms right now as I post this.

Sometimes I just wish.....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Scratch That

Our social worker came Saturday morning to pick up our profile books. It was all good until about five minutes later I (Vanessa) had a revelation that I totally forgot to include in our book our "Dear Birth Mom" letter. Ughh! So, I called our social worker, who then dropped our books back off to us on Sunday afternoon. We have to have a blank page added to the back of our profile books, so that we can tape an envelope with our letter to the back. So, our books are back with the printing company and should hopefully be back to us soon, back to the social worker, on to other social workers, and finally to birth parents! Who knew adoption was going to be so much work?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finally!



That would be we finally have our profile books in our hands! However, tomorrow morning they leave our hands and enter into our social worker's hands. From there, they go to other social workers around the United States and then hopefully into a birth mom/dad's hands.

We are officially one step closer! Laying hands on and saying a prayer with my sweet, faithful hubby tonight over these. That they would be a blessing to someone, even if we don't get picked, that they would show a birth parent that we care. That God would lead the right family into our lives that will bring us the little one we so desperately are praying for.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Feeling Some Hope

Sorry for the break from blogging. It was unintentional as for a few days we were without a computer while it got fixed (some sort of virus on it). Once we got it back, I just have not had a lot of extra time to post. Actually, even now I don't have a ton of time to post as Z is just about to wake up from her nap, and M is swinging in the swing for her nap. :)

I will say, part of the reason for not posting, is that I was feeling down for awhile. I just have been filled with many doubts of when this adoption would happen, how it would happen, etc. Our profile wasn't coming in and I was just feeling so sad about it all.

However, my little bit of hope today was that our proof copy of our family profile came in! So, next Monday we will take that and get 10 copies made. Those 10 copies will be mailed to different agencies around the US for potential birthmoms to view. Yay! One step closer again! :)

Also, we had been contacted with a potential situation, but decided that this particular sitation was not for us. Pray with us that we would know in the future always if we are to say "yes" or "no". Saying "no" is very hard and we want peace around either answer.

Just a side note-we have decided as a family that we will be sharing limited information on our child's situation (family, drug exposure, etc.). We are doing this because we feel that it is up to our child to share this information when he/she is old enough. Also, we do not want our son or daughter to be defined by the situation he/she comes from, but rather be defined by Christ who heals all pasts and knows the future.

Keep praying and believing with us.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Raw and Honest

In the morning O Lord, you hear my voice, ...I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Psalm 5:3

It's morning Lord and this week I am faced with all sorts of doubts. I mean, we are taking a big risk. Even our social worker makes it sound like the chance of getting picked by a birth family is so slim (being that we have a three month old). However, you are still God despite that. You have laid it on our hearts. We know that in time, whether that time be short or long, you will fulfill that promise. You can see the end already and you know that it is beautiful. I can't wait to see it too God. Just reassure me throughout the wait. Help me to learn trust and patience. I wait in expectation Lord, knowing that you will fulfill!

Sorry for that little off shoot of my blog. It's just what came from my heart this morning. I strive to be raw and honest with all of you so that you can see what is truly in our hearts. This week we ordered our profile books, got the ok on our birth parent letter, reapplied for some grants, and updated our home study. A lot happened and yet I felt so scared this week. I needed to verbalize on paper (or the computer) exactly what God has for us. He brought me to this verse earlier this week and I have been clinging to it steadily ever since. ;)

Anyway, right now Daddy and Zoelle are off on a daddy date (which they try and go on each Saturday morning). I am relaxing while Meridian sleeps...speaking of which, is this not the best picture ever?!?



She actually wasn't sleeping in this pic, rather the sun was in her face. But still, you get a little glimpse into our life with our two daughters and how sweet it is.

Keep praying for us as we start the now official waiting process. It feels like we have been waiting forever, and we have, but now it truly begins. Pray for God to grant us peace and wisdom.

Have a wonderful day! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dear Baby

To my sweet little ________________,

It has been over a year now of officially waiting for you. I hate it! I just want you in my arms to have and to hold forever. I'm sick of waiting. I'm tired of the game. I want you here with your two big sisters. With your mommy to rock you at night and your daddy to hold you gently while you cry. You belong with us. On days, like today, it feels like you are never going to come. God has to keep reminding me that He will bring you to us, it is just in His time.

I thank God that long ago He gave me a vision of you and also a name. It keeps me going day after day. I never stop praying that God would bless your first mom and keep you safe with her while we wait for you. That she would cherish every minute with you and that she would be blessed for this amazing yet hard decision she has to make.

Sweet little __________, God has great plans for you. Of that I am certain. I want, no I need you to know, that I am not giving up. I am prepared to battle for you and that I, your mama, love you with all my heart. I will have the biggest smile on my face the day you are placed in my arms forever. You are already etched into my heart and so I continue to wait for that beautiful day __________.

I love you!

Mommy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Short and Sweet


This is going to be short and sweet as the girls will be up from their naps soon. I also want to get outside to enjoy this beautiful whether once they do wake up. A few of you have been asking me what exactly a family profile is! Great question, and I so wish I would have thought to let you all know sooner. :) It basically is a scrapbook of our life condensed down to about 10-12 pages. Pictures of us, the girls, our house, pets, etc. Each picture also must be explained so potential birth moms that are shown this book know what they are looking at. And....it is also complete! However, I am waiting on the company to get back to me on how I can print off a 10-12 page photo book instead of a 20 page book. Pray they get back to me soon so we can keep this ball rolling.

Blessings to all of you for your continued prayers and I am now off to enjoy the rest of the day with my girls! :D

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Complete Peace

All things are possible with God
-Mark 10:27

It is with the knowledge that all things are possible with Him, that we have agreed to pursue this adoption now, not in a year. Do we want to be a "just in case"? No! But God has called us to this adoption, and we don't want to quit on him out of fear of what may or may not happen. He called us to it a year ago, and he will guide us to completing it in His timing. If that means that we need to update our home study more than once and spend more money, then we know that He is the one providing for us in all aspects of the adoption in order to do so.

While both our girls are in bed early this evening, and Chris is at a night job, I thought I would let you all know our decision. We have complete peace about it! Since everyone is either asleep or gone, I now have some time to work on our family profile. Pray that it is easy to complete and not overwhelming!



Friday, July 31, 2009

Decisions

Anyone that knows me knows that I hate making decisions. I just sit there and think of all the "what ifs" that are out there. So needless to say, when I got a phone call this week concerning some things with our adoption, I was back to hating making decisions.

Here is what we were presented with this week: Our home study is just about a year old. Thus, it needs to be updated. That in and of itself isn't a real big problem. They just update it with anything new that has happened in our lives, etc. It does however cost $800 to renew. We do have the money for that, except it was going to be money set aside for the actual adoption, not the home study. However, I know God will provide when it comes to the adoption.

So, back to our decision. As I told you in my last post, we need to make a family profile. My plan was to work on it this week, but time has literally gotten away from me, and I have not been able to yet. However, here is our dilemma, most of the agencies that our agency work with do not want family profiles in which a child in the home is under a year old. Sigh...this means us. :( There are a few agencies that don't care, but in that situation, we would be presented to the birth mom as a "just in case". Meaning a birth mom may be presented with 4 families and doesn't think any of those match her situation, so they might pull our family profile out as a "just in case none of the other families work". See where I am going with this? If our profile is only shown a handful of times, the chance of us being chosen to adopt in the next year is slim. If we aren't chosen, we have to update our home study again next year, thus another $800. We also would need to create a whole new "updated" family profile next year, so again, more money and time. Sigh...and there is where the decision lies.

Do we update now and take that chance or do we wait to update until Meridian is a year old? In my heart (Vanessa) I think I know the answer to this question, but Chris and I haven't had much time to discuss it yet, so we haven't come to an answer. So, I come here to ask my faithful prayer warriors that God would give us a united decision. One that gives us complete and total peace no matter the outcome in the end.

Friday, July 24, 2009

He directs!

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.
Proverbs 21:1

Isn't this so true? My heart, your heart, our hearts, are in the hand of the Lord and He directs it wherever He pleases. Amazing scripture that a dear friend shared with me this week in regards to our adoption. No matter what happens, God has my heart and He directs the desires within my heart. I have no say in the matter, which is actually quite freeing, and He will direct my heart where to go.

We had great news yesterday and it took me until today to get here to post it! :) Our agency called and apparently, they had their board meeting early. They did decide that there needs to be a six month wait (after an adoption or bio child) before introducing a new child into the home through adoption. I was so bummed when she said that, but then she told me that they are going to "grandfather" us in as this rule was not put into place when we first started! :) Praise God. See, He is directing all our hearts no matter our course.

So now we need prayers, (don't we always need prayers?) for us to complete a family profile. This was something we were not told to do beforehand. It is a book of pictures, explanations, and a "Dear Birth mom" letter that goes out to the agencies so that birth moms can "see" our family. It does require some time for me to complete, time without two little ones. So pray I find that time. It also can be a little expensive to print off these books (we need about 15 copies). So, could we ask for prayers for a good deal? I do have the "Dear Birth mom" letter complete, I just need to digitally scrapbook the book together. If anyone has any hints or tips on digital scrap booking, please send them our way!

I wanted to end this post on a picture of our two beautiful little girls.



They literally have become little buddies together. Zoelle is so good to Meridian and Meridian just adores Zoelle. In fact, if Zoelle and I are both looking at Meridian, Mer doesn't pay any attention to me, but "talks" and smiles at Zoelle instead! So sweet!

Thank you for your encouraging words and prayers, we could not take this journey without you! Blessings!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Real Me

But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within...


I need to be real. What? Haven't you already been being real Vanessa? Yes, I have, but there are some things with this adoption in which I couldn't be real. It has been hard for me not to be transparent. I think Chris would agree with me when I say I am sick of telling people that we "may adopt at any moment". While in some ways that is true, in others it may not be true. Confused? So are we!

You see, we need some major prayers. To start at the beginning. Last July we met with our social worker to start the adoption process. We asked then, because we knew it was a possibility, about whether or not a pregnancy would affect our adoption. We were told no. However, after becoming pregnant with Meridian, that changed and we were told to just wait. I think I have officially lost track of how many times we have been back on with the adoption, only to find out later that we were off. This is one of those times of being off. I can't really go into detail, nor do I have the energy to, but be in prayer on July 28th. There will be an official agency meeting with a rule set in stone as to if pregnant families may adopt, and how soon after they can adopt. We are now the latter. I cannot even begin to tell you how broken I am feeling right now. How scared. This is my life long dream and one in which my husband has grown to desire as well. I should let you know that our social worker does not for see this as being a problem, but prayers are so needed and appreciated!

I also need to let you know that we did not receive a grant from Shaohannah's Hope, which is now known as Show Hope. I can't say I'm surprised as they are the most well known adoption grant organization, thus lots of applications. However, I am still disappointed and trying to understand where God is leading us in this journey as right now, this adoption seems so impossible.

Let me just close in saying that the name God gave us for this little one truly fits all that has happened in our adoption. That alone is sustaining me in believing that God will follow through in His promise to us.

...Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Prayers

Here I say I'm going to keep this blog updated weekly and have I? Nope! Sorry about that. We have been enjoying so many great days together recently that by the time night comes and everyone is in bed, I am too tired to write! I figure it's time to update a little about each one of us and how we are each doing.

Chris: Is very busy with work! This is a huge blessing to us and our family, however it can get draining on him to work so hard each day (I'm proud of you hon). Can I ask for all of your prayers that God would sustain him each day, and bless him in whatever way he needs?

Vanessa: I am doing great! I love being a mom to my two little girls. Can I ask that you would pray that I am a gentle mom in my parenting and that God gives wisdom in my parenting. With Chris being gone more, I am left on my own many times to parent. As we all know, that can be draining. God is good though, and He is providing me with much needed strength.

Zoelle: Our little Zoelle Grace is growing up! She is witty, ever so sweet, and a very determined little girl! :) I love her though. She is such a good big sister. I just ask that you pray for an obedient heart from her and that God continues to help her be prepared to become a big sister again.

Meridian: What a content little babe she is! She is now smiling and starting to "talk" to us each day. She is a joy. Pray that the transition for her to become a big sister (most likely that is) will go well and that she can continue to be content and sweet.

Adoption: Oh how I wish I could share with you the name we have picked out for our child. But, for now, we feel compelled to wait on God. Prayers are needed though for our adoption. We have our Gift of Adoption review of our application in August. Of course, they have told us that they were reviewing our application since May, but keep pushing us back...so it may not be August. Yet, prayer for it never hurts. We should also be hearing back from Shaohannah's Hope at some point soon. Lastly, if you could pray for God to guide our hearts in a decision if a situation does arise. Since we have decided to follow God, our home study is "out there" for review by birthmoms. We may easily be picked or hear of a situation that we need to have an answer for. Pray for God, and Him only, to guide our decision. Not finances, timing, etc.

Thank you for all of your prayers. I just felt that this post should be a little update on us and how you can uphold us in prayer. If you have prayer needs that you need, feel free to let us know and we would be more than happy to pray for you. :) Blessings and enjoy this beautiful weather!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Someone Is Missing

Many of you came here to check out our blog after receiving this in the mail today:


Yes, we are still adopting!!! We realize that many of you have been asking us, or many have been wondering, but too afraid to ask. So, we felt from God the need to send this letter out to let you know where we stand.

We may be crazy, but sometimes following God’s will is. As many of you know, we now have two daughters-Zoelle (2 years old) and Meridian (1 month). Many people thought that when we got pregnant with Meridian, we were no longer going to adopt. That is/was not the case. Instead, we used that time to fill out adoption grant applications (which trust us, it really did take that long). As of the printing of this letter, we have received two grants:

Match Fund- $1,000
Micah Fund- Unknown amount given at time of match.

We also wanted to let you know that we still have any and all finances that you have given us. These monies have been placed safely in the bank collecting a minimal amount of interest. Where we stand financially in the adoption is unknown as we will not know the amount needed until matched. However, we do know that God is telling us to “go for it” and to completely trust Him. What a relief to give it all to Him! We have more peace about that than when we were trying to do it on our own. As our supporters, be praying that when a situation does arise, God would guide us both in the decision and with the finances.

In the meantime, we knew we had to update you all. Keep praying, keep believing with us that God will provide. If any of you have the internet, feel free to check our adoption blog out: http://cvjacobson.blogspot.com/ We try to do weekly updates. We literally cannot wait until we can announce to the world that we have adopted!!! Our family just isn’t complete yet-see, someone is definitely missing.





Glad you stopped by! As I sit here and type this tonight, I could use your prayers. You see, I'm scared! There I said it! I'm not scared of adding another one onto our family (although we would appreciate prayers that all transition well and that baby adjusts well, etc.). Instead, I am scared of receiving the finances for our adoption. I'm so worried that it isn't going to happen, that God won't provide. After all, it seems impossible. Yet, God tells us in His word that ALL things are possible with Him. ALL, not just some, but ALL things! Amazing isn't it? We know that this is from God and in His timing and so in the back of my mind I do know He will provide, but in the meantime I'm working on giving Him my fears.

Thanks for uplifting all of us in prayer. It has been quite a journey thus far and I'm happy to know that I can be real, raw, and honest and that you, in turn will support us in prayer.

Love,

Chris, Vanessa, Zoelle, & Meridian

Friday, June 5, 2009

Answered Prayers and God Knows

First things first!!! I must share that God answered both of our prayers this week. Never did I think he would do so, so quickly and never did I think He would be so amazing in doing so.

We ordered a stroller and were able to get it for close to $100 off the price. This is for a brand new stroller, not used. The only downside is that it is backordered until June 20th. God is good though and we can and will survive in our wait for this stroller.

We also found a van. It's kind of a long story (one that I won't share all the details here right now), but we got an amazing van at an incredible price.

Thank you for your prayers. :)

I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
Isaiah 49:15-16

Today this verse was absolutely a need for me hear!! Without going into details, we just ask for prayers, specifically this weekend, for us in regards to the adoption. We know right now that God will not forget us, He has us, our very names, engraved on His hands. He even has this little babe's name engraved in His hand. Amazing verse isn't it? It also is amazing to remember when you were again turned down for an adoption grant. :( Today we received a letter from Help Us Adopt saying they received so many applications and could not fulfill them all. Chris asked one question of me when I called to tell him, "Why? Why do we keep getting turned down?". I told him I don't know, but that God does know. There is a peace in knowing that. Even more so when you go, just a few short hours later, and read this verse about God not forgetting us.

Nope, God didn't forget, not if He had me read that verse, not if He answered our other prayers. He has us engraved on His hands, and I rest in knowing that He knows.

Monday, May 25, 2009

So full of love...

Our hearts are just so full of love this week. We wanted to get on here quickly today while both girls are napping, just to keep you in our lives and of course, to stay updated on the cutest girls ever! ;)



See I'm right, aren't I???

It has been a fairly good time so far in our household. I will say little Z has been struggling. If any of you care to, we would appreciate prayers that her adjustment period would go quickly and that we would have the love and patience parenting her that she needs. Meridian is a very sweet, easy going baby. Many have told me, that is just how all newborn babies are. However, we really prayed over my whole pregnancy that the new baby would be an easy adjustment and be an easy baby. So...we are choosing to believe that this is how God created her, just for our family! :)

As soon as I am feeling better physically (which really hasn't been too awful by the way), we will be in contact with our social worker to finish the updating and to get our home study out there. We still haven't heard back from the last of those applications, but I know that will come in His time.

Two quick things that we feel the Lord is leading us to ask you to pray about. With the addition of Meridian and the adoption, we are going to need a stroller. If any of you know us, you know we LOVE to walk! Seriously, I walked with Zoelle any day that I could in pretty much any weather. Being that we will have 3, we are going to need a triple stroller...which can be very expensive. Here is the one we have looked into getting: http://valcobaby.com/products/strollers.html?tx_productcatalog_pi1%5Buid%5D=4 Yep expensive, but it's the only stroller that will fit 3 toddlers (because our children will grow up sadly) comfortably. Could you be in prayer that we could find a great deal on this??? Secondly, we need a bigger vehicle. Our little car has been an amazing car, but it will not fit 3 car seats into it, plus any luggage if we travel. We are looking into getting a van, and aren't picky. We just are asking God to bless us with a great vehicle at an amazing price! He can do all things!! Thanks for praying. I look forward to updating with God's awesome provision to us.




Who can resist one more pic, because after all...aren't they adorable?!?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's A Girl!



Meridian Piper was water birthed after four quick intense hours of labor on May 19, 2009 at 5:56 a.m.

She weighs 8 lbs. 5 oz. and is 21 inches long.

Her, mama, daddy, and big sister Zoelle are doing great. We will update more as time goes on.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Little Girl Is 2!!!

Happy Birthday to our sweet Zoelle Grace! You have been such a joy for us to parent. As first time parents it has been a scary, exciting, nerve-wracking, and humorous journey! What a journey it has been. You have gone from this:



to this:



in what seems like an incredibly short amount of time. Everyday I am filled with awe and wonder of why God would give you to me. We have had two amazing years together sweet little girl-just you and I (and daddy too). Even though things are changing now and you are about to become a big sister twice, we will continue to be amazingly blessed by you.

May God continue to guide your little heart. To soften it and mold it to His will in the years to come. We look forward to continuing on this journey with you sweetie.

I love you! Happy 2nd Birthday sweet little one.

Love,

Mama

Sorry for those of you who came to read for the adoption...it's not totally adoption related, but I had to post it. It sort of is though, as she is a part of this adoption too! ;) Anyway, wish our little Z a Happy 2nd Birthday today!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Cost of Adoption

"God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ...and it gave Him great pleasure...He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His son..." -Ephesians 1:5,7

Today God challenged me to pick up my Shaohannah's Hope devotional book that they gave us while we wait to hear from them. As I paged through, I came to a devotional in which the above verse was quoted. It struck me that our adoption by God cost us nothing, yet it did cost God something; it cost Him His Son. Yes adoption is costly, yet God was willing to undergo it, and undergo it with joy!

We want to do the same with our adoption. The adoption journey has not been easy. There have been many tears, sleepless nights, hours of toil, obstacles encountered-all are but a shadow of the price that God paid for us.

God certainly lead me to the right devotional to read today. You see, we have come to a decision. Chris and I realize that it is time to undergo everything, and undergo with joy. What does that mean? It means that we are going to be having our social worker submit our home study to agencies. Are we financially ready? No, not really. However, we know God is! He has the perfect adoption out there for us and knows exactly what we need. It is such a leap of faith, yet as we have discussed this past week, we have such a peace about it, and a deep joy. It is great knowing that we have done everything we can (submitting grant applications, saving money, etc.) and now God does the rest. Well, who am I kidding, he has done it all! :)

As our supporters both financially and prayerfully, we just want to thank you for your continued support and prayers. Please pray for us that God would guide us in His wisdom in making any decisions that come our way in the future regarding this adoption.

You can also be in prayer for me as I prepare for the birth of another child. I am two weeks out and feeling very good (Praise God). Just pray that God would give me the strength, both physically and emotionally, to get through whatever time I may still have left.

Blessings to you all...keep watching for updates on both the birth and the adoption.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cherish Every Minute

I know, I know, it's been a very long time again since I have posted. It hasn't been on purpose. Well actually, it sort of has. You see, I am 3 weeks away from my due date and Chris and I have decided that we are going to cherish every minute we have with Zoelle. So, because of that, I haven't been on here or much of anywhere else to post.

3 weeks!?! Can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday that I was posting on here that crazy picture of my pregnancy test. Now, I am just weeks away from meeting our second biological child. It makes me excited, scared, nervous, and sad. So many different emotions in meeting this little one. Mainly the sadness comes from no longer having it just Zoelle and I. I do not fear one bit loving this child as much as I do Zoelle. Instead, I just am sad that I will never have this time with "just us" ever again. I cherish it and will always look back on the fond memories we created in her first two years of life. What a special time it has been and still is!

The adoption front is again slow and making me feel depressed. Just the other night I was bawling to Chris saying, "It isn't going to happen. I just can't see it happening, especially with this economy.". My husband, who I must say again is a huge blessing, reminded me that God is bigger than all of that. He has the most perfect, most beautiful, little babe out there for us just waiting to join our family. It is just on His time, not ours. Wow! What a great reminder-one that I will probably have to keep saying to myself over and over until that precious little babe is in my arms at last. God recently lead me to this verse that helped calm me and give me peace to know He has a child for us.

“As surely as you live, my Lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I have asked of him.”

1 Samuel 1:26,27

As far as grants go, no new news. This means that we probably did not receive the National Adoption Fund. However, that grant has no limits to how many times you can apply, so God is not finished yet there! It just means someone else needed it more than us at this time. The only other adoption grant news we have heard is that the Gift of Adoption grant has moved our application review date back to June. This is because they are short on funds, and are praying that by June they will have more to commit to us or others like us. Pray with us for that, would you?

To end this super long post (please forgive me for it, k?), I must post a picture of my little girl whom I am cherishing every minute with. :)




Wednesday, April 15, 2009

God Is Not Finished Yet!

We thought we were all finished with grant applications. However, God always has a surprise for us! We were all set to mail the Our Creator's Hope grant application a month ago and then found out they were not accepting applications at the time. Last night, while going through our e-mails, I found the link to their blog. When I checked it, I found out that they are now accepting applications for a $1,000 grant! Yay! We are beyond excited for another try at another grant. :) This grant opportunity starts today and all materials must be e-mailed in by April 30th! So it is a short opportunity, but one we are so thankful we caught in time.

He is also working in our other grants. We got word from Shaohannah's Hope that they will be reviewing our application within 3 months of first applying. That puts us into June, but we are okay with that, if that is what God's timing is for us. We also found out that Shaohannah's Hope averages about $3,000 per grant. They receive well over 100 applicants each month and are only able to provide grants to approximately 35% of those who apply.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank those of you who were praying for the Gift of Adoption grant. We were specifically praying that they would review our application (as they give favor to those who are matched with a child first). They contacted us last week with a tentative application review in May. Praise God for answered prayers!

Would you please join with us in praying and speaking life over these remaining grants. We want to stay realistic, but also to have hope and just know that God is going to provide. After all, nothing is too big for God. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mail

Is it kind of pathetic that each day, one of the highlights of Zoelle and I's day is getting the mail? Seriously, with the length of winter and how cold the majority of our winter has been, Zoelle and I rarely get out. We do though to check our mail, which is why it is always a highlight.

Yesterday, I had a very strong feeling that we would have some adoption grant news. Sure enough, there was a letter from God's Grace Adoption Ministry. I sat there and held it in my hand awhile knowing that either and "yes" or a "no" was in that letter. To be honest, when I opened the letter and started reading, I wasn't totally surprised to see the answer was "no". Disappointed, sad, hurt, confused...but not surprised. My first thought was, "I hate this adoption thing". Then, I wanted to cry out to God as to when it will be our turn?

Bless my little 22 month old daughter Zoelle. She came up to me about five minutes after opening the mail and told me, "Mama, wait upon the Lord". I was shocked! God specifically had her tell me that, in order to trust Him. Then later, I was online reading about an acquaintance's adoption journey and she had this scripture posted:

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed." -Habakkuk 2:3

So do I think God is telling me to wait? Yes! Is it hard? Yes! Scary? Yes! That is the hardest part for Chris and I-to not be scared. We have done all we can do, and the rest is up to God. If we get denied on more grants, we have absolutely no idea where the money for the adoption will come from. The good thing is, God does know, and so in the meantime, we wait.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The last of the applications...phew!

Well today is a very snowy day here. :( In fact so snowy, that Chris is still home from work (not much carpet cleaning or sign rentals going on with this snowstorm). Anyway, I am in one of my moods again of "get everything done". I made a new list last night that included everything I must finish before this belly babe gets here.

One of those things was finish adoption grant applications. We only had one application to finish, but one other one that we just finally received the last of the paperwork (from our social worker) on late yesterday. So since Chris was here to watch Zoelle, I worked hard and finished all applications. They can be mailed out as soon as we can shovel our way out! :)

It was honestly a huge relief to us to be done. I don't think either of us ever realized the work it would take to fill out all of these applications. On the other hand, it is kind of scary to realize that we have now done our part and God has to do the rest.

Here is a recap of the applications (so again you can be praying):

HelpUsAdopt-Finished today! Grant amounts range from $500-$15,000. We will know by June 15th the amount we receive (notice I say we will receive; I just am trusting God here).

Shaohannah's Hope-Received last of paperwork yesterday. Long story, but be praying that they specifically will accept our paperwork. They apparently encourage you to apply at anytime in the adoption process. However, they only like to give grants once you have been matched with a child (which we obviously have not). Unknown grant amount range. Application process takes 90-120 days. We need lots of prayers here!

National Adoption Fund-Grants range from $500-$2,500. We should know by April 15th the amount we will receive.

Gift of Adoption Fund-Waiting to hear back still; praying it is soon. Grants range from $500 to $7,500. The average grant award is $3,500. Pray! Their policy is very similar to Shaohannah's Hope in that they give first preference to those who have been matched with a child. Please pray we can somehow get our application looked at anyways.

God's Grace Adoption Ministry-They contacted us waiting to hear back from one more reference. They should be able to review our application at the end of this month (which I am guessing got pushed back to the end of this month now). Typical grant amounts range from $1,000 to $4,000 with an average of about $2,000. Pray!

So other than praying for us and these grants, just keep tuning in to our blog. We should have updates on several of these in the next few weeks. Oh, and I am trying to win a Twilight Tide Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!! again. I just happened to check back on that blog and they are giving away a different Pettiskirt now. I figure it doesn't hurt to try! :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Keep Believing and Don't Stop




This last weekend I (Vanessa) had the opportunity to attend the woman's retreat at my church. I always have a hard time going (just because I am a home body), but once there, I have a wonderful time. The speaker this year was a woman by the name of Karen Jensen. She was an amazing speaker, and had an incredible message on unforgiveness in our lives.

One of her CD series is called "Keep Believing and Don't Stop". She just briefly touched on what it was about, but instantly I realized that it had everything to do with our adoption. You see, last week, feeling desperately discouraged in our adoption, I told Chris we should just quit, it wasn't worth it, etc. Like the man of God he is, he refused! :) Thank God for Him because he knows we are to keep going.

So, we will continue to hold onto the rope until the answer comes. For on the other side of the rope, is God's promise of a little baby. It may be a longer rope, or a shorter one, we can't see, but we trust that God has fulfilled His promise already on His end. We just need to keep holding on until we get there.

Meanwhile, thought you would enjoy a few pictures my wonderful friend Anahita (hi Ana) took of our family for some maternity pics. I have 9 weeks to go, and while I haven't touched much on this pregnancy (as this is our adoption blog), I would appreciate prayers for the rest of this pregnancy.

Blessings, and keep holding on to your rope! God has the other end!



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Greater Than Our Hearts

God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.
1 John 3:20

Chris and I have found this to be so true, even more so today. First, let me back up. I have a little bible verse a day thing in my house and a few days ago turned it only to find this verse. I was instantly struck with God telling me that this applies directly to our adoption. At first I didn't think much about it. However, we then found out we would not be able to apply for the Our Creator's Hope adoption grant. We also still have not heard back from other grants. God was reminding me that He is greater than our hearts and knows everything.

Today, in a moment of nesting (yes I truly am already nesting at 30 weeks pregnant), I decide to clean out our file cabinet. While going through our adoption file folder, I find another grant application that we could possibly apply for. I go online to check it out, and it is literally the easiest grant application we have ever applied for. It did not take us long at all. We should know by April 15th or so if we qualified. For prayer purposes, this grant is called National Adoption Fund and they have grants ranging from $500-$2,500. We also were able to complete the Shaohannah's Hope grant last night and just need to send in the mail a few copies of paperwork. We do have a specific prayer request in regards to Shaohannah's Hope. We did not realize until last night that they typically have a minimum of 3-4 months of review time in the application process. Our prayer is that God would find favor and somehow, even though it seems impossible, our application would go through sooner.

Thank you for praying for all our grants. Keep praying to hear back soon on many of them. Also, remember that God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Questions

I know, I know! It's been forever since I have posted. I haven't intentionally done that. It's just that we have no news to share, thus I did not feel the need to post anything. Many of you though have been asking me questions, thus I thought I would update a little bit.

Last week we packed our bags to go house sit for the week at my parents (as they were going on vacation). We were in charge of taking care of 4 horses, 5 cats, 2 dogs, the house, and ourselves! Phew! Needless to say, I received a text on Sunday saying they were on their way home. They were staying at the same place we did a couple of weeks before, but because of the size of their family, were told they were breaking fire code. What a bummer for them. There was then a week of vacation to use for free being wasted. We thought about it and decided to go ahead and go. Our thought was that if Chris got called for work, he would head back home. Otherwise, we would enjoy our second free vacation as a family. Chris did not get called! We ended up enjoying a week together just relaxing all over again. We ended out the week with a baby doctor appointment which went super well. We are thankful to God that we got another refreshing time to enjoy to ourselves before all three of our lives change drastically.

Onto the questions we have been getting. The main one is, "Have you heard back on grants?". The answer unfortunately is no. :( I wish I could come on here and update you and say that in those two weeks we have heard something, but I can't. We do still have two applications to fill out. After completing a third application last night for a grant, we received an e-mail this morning stating they are not accepting applications at this time. What a bummer! Join with us in prayer that we will hear back soon on the three we are waiting on.

The second question is actually more of a statement than a question. "You guys are still adopting, even though you are pregnant?!?". Yes, call us crazy, but we are. Many people have been shocked when one of us mentions that we are still adopting. We feel the need to share our hearts on this one. Long ago, when Vanessa was just a teen, she felt strongly called by God to adopt. Chris, like most guys his age was not thinking about children, let alone marriage. Once we met, fell in love, and got married, God slowly changed Chris' mind. In fact if you ask Vanessa, she secretly thinks this is harder on Chris than he lets on! :) Our plan all along was to adopt whenever that would be. We are so thankful to God with the blessing of our biological daughter and also another child on the way. However, we feel strongly, that despite all that, we need to adopt. We have been in contact with our social worker and she states that they are extremely desperate for families right now (yes even for infants). She believes that once we are financially set, we will end up with a babe. Talk about amazing! We cannot wait for that day. Please join us in prayer that God will provide the finances so we can get to that day sooner rather than later.

Lastly, we have the opportunity to win this: Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!. All I have to do is link it to this post and I am entered to win. Wouldn't this look beautiful on our baby??? Of course, if we end up adopting and/or birthing a boy, we will just have to either pass it on or save it for a future babe. ;)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lots Of Praying

Tonight Chris has a night job cleaning, so here I am dreaming, praying, and researching adoption...again! :) It's all I do. Lately, I have been having dreams about our little baby. Very specific ones. It gives me hope, but it also makes me sad because I want that baby with us now. I want to share with everyone it's name (the name God has already given us). I want to share pictures. I want to lavish it with kisses. I just want to hold it and call it "mine". At our Micah Fund meeting, one of the women in our interview told me to praise God for this baby as if it is already here. That has helped me tremendously in trusting God because I know in my heart, this baby is already here, and is coming home to us.

Tonight, I started doing more grant work. It is such a daunting process to me, but I only have a few more to do, and it brings us closer to our baby. It also lets me feel like I am doing something in this adoption, instead of just sitting here. :) Here is a recap of the grants we are/have working/worked on:

Katelyn's Fund-Got denied a $3,000 grant. God is still good!

Match Fund-Received a $1,000 grant. Woohoo!

Micah Fund-Received an unknown grant. We are trusting it will be the perfect amount to "complete" our adoption.

Gift of Adoption Fund-Waiting to hear back still; praying it is soon. Grants range from $500 to $7,500. The average grant award is $3,500. Pray!

God's Grace Adoption Ministry-They contacted us waiting to hear back from one more reference. They should be able to review our application at the end of this month. Typical grant amounts range from $1,000 to $4,000 with an average of about $2,000. Pray!


Help Us Adopt-We are currently filling this application out. Grants range in the amounts of $500-$15,000 depending on individual situations. We will not know back from this one until June 15. Kind of a bummer, but they meet only twice a year. Pray!

Shaohannah's Hope-We are currently filling this application out. Just a little more paperwork and we will be done. Pray!!

Our Creator's Hope-We are currently filling this application out. Grants range from $1,000-$10,000. Application must be received by March 15, thus reviewed shortly after that. Pray!

See how doable all of this is? I feel so confident that God is going to provide for us through these grants. If not through them, I know He has another plan. It will just be amazing to look back on it all when we are holding that precious little babe in our arms.

So what can you do to help? Pray, pray, pray! Pray for these grants to go through soon, and in our favor. Blessings to all of you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Woohoo!

We got it! Need I say more???? :D We did not expect a call back so early already, what a blessing from God. Our representative that did the interview and called us today is also going to try and find out a maximum amount possible to receive, so that we have an idea going into the adoption.

Please pray!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Micah Fund Update

Thank you for your prayers! This is a quick update, as there is not a whole lot to update! :) We were interviewed, and the interview went amazing. We will find out within a week if we are accepted or not. If so, they asked us what amount we would like to receive. They do not have a minimum or a maximum amount to give, they will just give whatever amount possible that they have at that time. The clincher is, we won't know how much that amount is until we are placed with a baby. It makes things sort of difficult for planning, but we can totally understand why they do so. Plus, we are having faith that it will be the perfect amount that we need for the adoption! So, we basically told them a very large, high number in just having HUGE faith in God that whatever comes to us, comes. So, you can all pray that 1. We get accepted 2. We get the highest amount, the perfect amount, that God has in mind for us when the time comes.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Micah Fund Prayers Needed

The Lord is so good and so amazing! I am constantly reminded to just trust and WAIT in Him and His timing. So, we were specifically praying that God would give us hope and that the adoption would move forward, not be stagnant, right? Guess what? It is!!! We came home today from vacation with a message on our machine from the Micah Fund representatives. They wanted to set up an interview with us. Now typically you would think that the interview would not happen for several weeks, or at least a week...nope, not in this case. The interview is tomorrow night at 7:15 p.m.!!!

Please, please, pray! This is our first interview that we have given for a grant and I have no idea what that entails. That makes me nervous, but excited. The interview itself is about an hour to an hour and a half. I have no idea the specific amount we could possibly get here, but we are praying that God would grant us the maximum amount if able. I was also told today that it will not take them long to notify us on the amount we receive. So what a blessing; again moving forward.

That's all I wanted to say! :) To praise God for specifically answering a prayer, and to ask for all of your prayers. Thanks and I'll update as soon as I can!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Waiting

This week Chris, Zoelle, and I are away on an incredible free vacation my parents gave us. Thank you again Dad and Mom! It has been a huge blessing for us to get away from work, the house, and just the everyday things of life to do...well, nothing! We could have chosen to go basically anywhere with this free vacation, however, we are only an hour away from home. :) While it is not a tropical, Caribbean beach vacation, it has been just wonderful for us regardless of that fact.

Meanwhile, we wait. I think we literally both hate waiting. We were up late into the night last night talking of our options for this adoption to happen. Right now, we are trying to patiently wait to hear back on these grants. However, I think both of us were a little shocked on how much time it would take to hear back from places. We prayed specifically last night that God would give us some hope and that things would move forward in the adoption process rather than be stagnant.

This morning, I woke up and went straight to a message I received from my dear friend Tara a few weeks back. She had written a little devotional on waiting and thought it would be really good for us to read as well. She was right, and this morning I had to once again read it to realize that God is doing work in us, in the baby we plan to adopt, and in who knows what else while we wait. It's just that waiting is hard, but we will continue to do so knowing God's will is being done while we wait.

Below, is a beautiful song by John Waller called "While I'm Waiting". I listened to it again yesterday and realized that this song describes what we are feeling completely. So, enjoy listening to it, and maybe you too will learn to wait on the Lord.



Friday, January 30, 2009

Trying To Understand

Sigh...today we try to understand God's will. We heard back from Katelyn's Fund today. We were denied. They didn't say why, but we do know they get hundreds of applications a month, and we are guessing there was just someone more qualified than us. We're not sure if we can reapply (some grants allow you to do that), but if we can, we will. This was $3,000 and to be completely honest with you all, we were counting on getting this for sure. We just never thought even once we would be denied a grant. It is very hard for me (Vanessa) to understand why God would do this. :( Please pray with me that God would show me understanding. Chris came home at lunch and while we were talking about it he was so upbeat. I could not understand why he would be so upbeat and honestly it made me mad. Then, he shared with me that I am not trusting God. He said, you just never know how God will provide and that He isn't going to let us down. It makes sense, I know in my mind that Chris is right. For now though, I just feel like crying and questioning God on how in the world He will provide.

Sigh...see at least I'm honest! :) This blog serves a two fold purpose for us as well. It's a way to let you all know where we are at in the process and it is also a way to vent/share our thoughts. Keep us uplifted in your prayers. Pray that God would show me (specifically) understanding and His will in all of this.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Praise God!

Quick update before we head to bed! We heard back from the Match Fund today. We received a grant of $1,000! Now to some that may be nothing, especially when you are looking at average adoptions costing $15,000-$20,000, but to us this is encouragement and an answer to prayer! Just think, we are one step closer to holding this baby in our arms!

Thank you to those of you who prayed and encouraged us in this waiting time. Now we wait again, but we wait with hope. We truly believe God is going to do a miracle not only to show us, but to show those of you who are supporting us along the way!

So, tonight we sign off with a huge PRAISE GOD!!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Some news...finally!

Praise God! I just told Chris last night that he better be praying we hear something soon on these grants. I was literally going crazy just waiting. I hate waiting as it feels like I am doing nothing. So today, in the midst of kind of a bad afternoon (Zoelle refused to nap), I received a call. It was from the Match Fund. Chris had told me when they called a few weeks ago, that they were meeting on January 10th to discuss us. Well apparently, they met on January 13th and Chris misunderstood them. Either way, January 13th was some time ago, so I wanted to find out what they had decided. Apparently...nothing! They are a church that does these funds and they met as a board, but had so many things to talk about that they never got to us. :) Phew! It is a relief for me to know at least that we didn't get voted out of getting anything. They are now meeting quickly this Sunday and it sounds promising, so keep us in your prayers. Also, if you all could pray we hear back from more grants that would be great. As soon as we hear back and know an approximate financial number, we can get our homestudy out there to birthmoms. As I told my mom this afternoon, "I would be devastated if we never got to adopt, as adoption is so in our hearts!". That is just truly the heart of us wanting to adopt!

Below is an adorable video I got of Zoelle tonight at dinner. Since she was a baby, her and Chris have sang and danced to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman. About a month ago, Chris and I were shocked when we heard Zoelle quietly singing it to herself in her highchair. Well tonight, I finally got it on video. I'm not sure if you can understand all the lyrics, but if you know the song, I am pretty sure you will. Just adorable! :)

video

Monday, January 12, 2009

While We Wait



We are still waiting on news. We haven't heard anything yet, so please keep praying. So...while we wait, I thought I would show you all some adorable video and a picture of our little Zoelle Grace (who is now 19 months old). I was just sharing with a friend that I don't post a lot of Zoelle pictures on here because it is a blog for our adoption. Maybe someday, I will create a family blog. However, Zoelle is a HUGE part of the adoption, so I have to include some pictures. :)

The above picture is really special to me for two reasons (yes, I do realize it is terribly out of focus). 1. We have very little pictures of Zoelle sleeping as she is an extremely light sleeper and wakes up if she even slightly hears us. 2. This was my "Reddy Teddy" as a little girl that I slept with every night until I got married! She has since "adopted" Reddy Teddy as her own, which is just precious to me. If I can ever find it, I will show you a picture of me with Reddy Teddy when I was just a little older then Zoelle.

The video below is of her dressing up in daddy's gloves and ear muffs. She then proceeded to immediately begin singing her abc's, which I only got half of! Sorry it's the wrong way, I always forget that!
video

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Breakdown

Hi everyone! Or at least I hope there are some of you who read this still. :) I actually have told a few people in the last couple of days that I wonder if anyone reads this, or if I am just talking to myself! Ha! So, if you are reading, feel free to comment on here, or even tell me in person. I love that, as it is very encouraging to Chris and I to hear from those of you who are faithful in your prayers for us.

Have you been praying lately? Saturday is our first BIG official day on the first grant. We have been seeking the Lord all week. On Sunday, we had one of the elders of the church pray with us for these grants. He asked us if we had a specific amount in mind for the grants. We answered honestly, that we don't. We just are trusting that God knows how much this adoption will cost. He also knows that we would like to stay out of debt. So, we trust in Him to provide the money through grants and faithful givers. This elder then went on to share with us a verse from the Bible. It was so amazing how it pertained to our exact situation, that I must share it with you.

"I tell you the truth, the things you don't allow on earth will be the things God does not allow. And the things you allow on earth will be the things that God allows. Also, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about something and pray for it, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. This is true because if two or three people come together in my name, I am there with them."
Matthew 18:18-20

We are claiming this completely this week, and all throughout this grant process.

I wanted to breakdown each of the grants that we have applied for so that you may be praying specifically for each one.

*Match Fund-this is the grant that meets on Saturday to discuss our application.
*Micah Fund-they have received our application and should be calling soon for an interview.
*God's Grace Adoption Ministry-have not heard anything yet-please pray we will soon.
*Katelyn's Fund-have not heard anything yet-please pray we will soon.
*Gift of Adoption Fund-in the process of finishing application, almost complete.
*Shaohannah's Hope-have not started this yet, hopefully start and complete this week.

In all of our searching, I believe these are the only specific grants that we can apply for in regards to our adoption situation. Each grant varies in the amount they give. Our prayer is a bold one in which we could get the maximum amount for each grant. Please continue to pray for us as we approach each of these grant application processes.

I cannot wait to come on here and share what God has done for us in these grants. I am so confident that it will be because of your faithful prayers and giving, and through these grants, that one day soon, we will bring our little baby home.