Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Beginnings....

Hmmm...well I've started and restarted a blog post about 5 times now in the last couple of weeks.  I've dreaded updating this because I knew I would have to write a book to really give a full update.  So, stay with me here and I will try to make a LONG story short...er.

I titled this "New Beginnings" because I'm hopeful about greater things to come. 

This fall our adoption process began to get even rockier and there was more frustration, waiting and changes.  Lesotho is in the process of becoming a Hague Country.  In short, this means, they are signing into a convention that will establish new requirements and ensure ethical practices to protect children and families involved.  In general it is good for the adoptive children and provides more protection for the prospective adoptive parents.  This overall seems to be a very good change in the grand scheme of things.  However, our adoption agency is not a Hague accredited agency and therefore will not be allowed to continue adoptions over there.  From our understanding those families that were "matched" with a child prior to December 1, 2012 will get to continue under the Non-Hague process.  Those that have not will need to sign on with the Hague accredited agency that the Lesotho government appoints over here in the United States.

The Hague process and the Non-Hague process differ quite a bit from the paperwork we have filed with the government, to the children's visa to the parental education requirements.  In short, it's just a totally different process.  Our Non-Hague paperwork expires this July and we are granted one free extension, but it has to be with a Non-Hague country. (makes sense!)  But our home study has also expired and would have to be renewed to get the free extension.  Our fees to our adoption agency aren't refundable so starting over with a new agency isn't an option.

I tell you all this jumbled background to lead up to saying that our adoption process with Lesotho has come to an end.  After a couple of months of crying, anxiety and frustration this is where we are at.  We have been in this process for 2 years and it's hard to see it end like this, but I'm praying for greater things.

I know this last 2 years hasn't been a waste because we were doing what we felt like God wanted us to do.  I know He doesn't make mistakes and I also know that we are human and it's not for us to understand all the time.

Where do we go from here?? Well great question.... I'm not sure what door will be open for us, but I do know that we will be looking for one.

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Summer Recap...

I can't believe the summer is wrapping up.  Still no news from Africa and we haven't heard when the next match meeting could potentially be.  We continue to pray for our special little one because we know God is working full-time behind the scenes.

This summer has gone by fast but here is a recap:

  • In July we had a family trip to Texas with the Flora's.  It was very low-key and rainy but it allowed time for meeting new people and lots of visiting.  15 (i think) of us shared a 2 bedroom 2 bath house.  Yes, that sounds a bit scary...but we really had a fun time.  No make-up, no hair dryers, no 30 minute showers and LOADS of bug spray!  It was great to slow down and relax some.  I'm a bit obsessed with multitasking and there was no need for it this week.  Life was simple and time with family was priceless...

  •  Jason got word that he would be given the opportunity to attend the police academy to become a commissioned officer this fall!  This is a huge deal to him and it's fun to watch God further develop Jason's passion for law enforcement. It was unexpected that he would be able to attend school this soon so we consider it a complete blessing.  He is going to have a tough schedule for the next 9 months but, it's only temporary.  I'm so proud of him!

  • Jason and I have been visiting a new church this summer that is close to home.  We have been completely blessed by the messages we have received over the last couple of months.  Pastor Chad has been in a series titled The Plan and he has been digging in to what God's plan is in each of our lives.  This past week he spoke about "Markers on the Road" and 4 common markers that take place when God has spoken direction in your life.  The first marker was Prompting of the Holy Spirit.  This message made me reflect on our adoption journey and how in January of 2010 Jason and I were prompted by God and the idea of adoption was born into our lives.  The 2nd marker was Certain Uncertainty.  We had no idea how we were going to pay for adoption, where we were going to adopt from or how long this process would take.  Pastor Chad stated that if God gave us all the info up front in His plan for us and if we knew all the steps in the process...A all the way to Z...then we, as humans would naturally want to skip the hard stuff and get to Z.  How true is that?!  It's often times in the hard stuff that we learn, we grow and we thank God that "Z" didn't come so quickly because we wouldn't have been ready for it.  The 3rd marker was Predictable Resistance.  "If you aren't knocking heads with the devil every once in a while then you probably aren't causing him any problems."  There has been and is going to continue to be resistance in our adoption process.  We have to keep remembering that resistance doesn't mean a wrong door.  The last marker in the message was Uncommon Clarity, which is where I believe we are at.  There is still so much up in the air and despite the all the waiting, the unknowns and the people that think we are crazy...we know this is God's will for us. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Africa Brought Home...

 They're Back!!!!!  2 weeks ago we were blessed with getting to welcome Jason's Dad, Mom and 3 beautiful sisters back to the states after a 3 1/2 year term in Africa.  We had an African Christmas in June the night they got back.  Teresa brought home baskets, purses, fabric, coffee, spoons, etc. and I was completely obsessed!!  We have enjoyed every second we have gotten with them and are looking forward to a week together in July!

Today also marks Jason and I's 6 year anniversary!  Happy Anniversary to my best friend and amazing husband.  God has blessed me with such a great man and I am one lucky lady.

Monday, June 4, 2012

On my mind...

Allow me to get real about how this journey has been the last couple weeks.  One word: frustrating!  I like to keep this blog pretty upbeat and try not to vent a lot...after all I don't want this to feel like you are reading your facebook page and reading dreary status updates from people you half way know. :) (er...maybe that's just my facebook friends haha)

Okay...back to the point.  Not only did it stink to not get matched but the longer this journey takes the more expensive it gets.  The longer it takes the more things expire and it's costly to get them renewed. Our home study expires in July and I found out today that it costs nearly the same amount to renew it than it did to initially get it done.  It was very defeating to read through the costs and required paperwork.  To be honest, I hate thinking about money and hate even more to stress about it.  I realize though that this is another area that I need to give to God.  I tend to really hold tight when it comes to finances and don't ever really feel that I've given that part of my life to Him. 

 I guess I'm just ready for some good news...I'm just so ready for that match.  Over the past 2 weeks I've learned that I probably shouldn't read my emails at work.  I read that we didn't get a match while at work and spent half the day in the bathroom crying and the other half being a baby to one of my trusty coworkers. (Thanks Nicole!) Then I read about all the added costs today in another email and was automatically frustrated.  For my coworkers sake and for my sake...maybe I should save the adoption emails for home. 

Please keep praying over that meeting and praying for that baby.  I know God is big and can move mountains...my hopes are that He does this in Africa very soon.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Adoption Rollercoaster

I've heard that the adoption journey is a lot like a roller coaster when it comes to your emotions....lots of ups and downs.  To be honest, up until now we haven't really felt that.  We rushed around at the beginning and got a lot of paperwork together, had meetings, appointments and small trips to get our dossier ready to be submitted to Africa.  Last July most all of that was sent off and our paperwork has been in Africa since October 2011.  Since October we made a trip to St. Louis in December to get some fingerprints done...and since December we've been waiting.  I guess it's like waiting in line to get on the roller coaster.  We can see others riding the ride and even some that have made it through the ride. 

About 2 weeks ago we got word that there was going to be a match meeting in Lesotho.  Then a day before the meeting it was confirmed by our agency that, YES there would be a meeting on May 22, 2012 and our paperwork would be at that meeting!  This was great news...this was..."okay Flora's it's your turn to get on this ride!"  After the meeting took place I couldn't sleep and my mind was consumed with what might have happened thousands of miles away.  Then on May 24th we found out that we hadn't been matched.  (I didn't even know that was a possibility!...rookie mistake)  Anyways, needless to say it was so disappointing and we were very upset. 

I guess over the last week I've learned that I'd rather be on the ride than on the sidelines waiting in line.  Last week was the most movement we have seen in quite a few months and it's the closest we have been to having a baby Flora miles away.  Jason and I are hanging in there and are incredibly thankful for the support we've experienced through our family, friends and coworkers.  They say "it takes a village to raise a child"...apparently it takes another one to bring one home from half way across the world.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Last Month Rewind...

I guess it hasn't quite been a month...(hey, I'm not doing too bad!)...but here is a little of what went on:
Eric Church Concert:

Jay and I went to the Eric Church/Brantley Gilbert concert!  It was Jason's first concert and although he stood with his arms crossed and looked more like a security guard than a fan....I think he liked it :)

Celebrating Moms!:
Mother's Day is tomorrow and my mom is out of town so we celebrated her day last weekend.  We went to a tea room for lunch and then out for pedicures.  It was an incredibly tiny gesture to say thank you for EVERYTHING you do in our lives EVERY day.  My other Mom is thousands of miles away but I still celebrate Jason's special momma.  His family gets back from Africa, one month from yesterday and we are so excited to see them.  Please know, Teresa, even though we aren't together on Mother's Day that we are thinking and praising the Lord for you!

Adoption Home-front:
April came and went with no match meeting in Lesotho.  We know of a couple that is over in Africa right now picking up their son...how exciting!  I woke up at 6 am (on a Saturday! why?) and read through their blog this morning and it just seems so surreal.  I can't wrap my head around actually doing what they are doing right now.  I know it will come.  We are hoping...and praying that maybe this month a meeting will take place.  I can't help but wonder what that day will look like.  Will we be at work?  Will I just open and email and see a picture? Where will Jason be? Is it a boy? A girl? What emotions will we feel? ....Crazy to think about.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A-Whole-Nother Love

"Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."
(1 John 3:18)

Ran right into this scripture a couple weeks back and it's been sticking with me.  It has made me think about a few things differently.  Originally it made me think of my marriage and how I let Jason know that I love him.  Telling Jason how I feel about him is one thing.  Showing him through I live my life is a-whole-nother deal.  I realized that it's not just about actions and truth when he is around...it's 24/7.   

I also think about some of the people I am around the most often...my coworkers.  Me and two coworkers got into a discussion about Jesus the other day.  I thought about this talk after reading this scripture.  I wondered how many times the non-believer in this conversaton had had these kind of talks.  I wondered if any words ever sunk in and stayed there.  I wondered...what if love through my actions and daily living would "speak" louder to her specifically?

God is so good....not only has this lesson been about me showing love...but Jason and I have seen this kind of love in return alot...most recently this past week.  Jason has been wanting to go to the police academy for a long time.  His work only allows a select few to go to school each year because of their conflicting work schedules.  That is part 1.  Part 2 is...it costs money...alot of money we don't have.  Because of a chain of events, a couple felt lead to take care of part 2 for us.  Yes...that means to pay for his school!!  That is huge for us, and I don't know why or how it came about, but I do know that we were shown love through actions and in a BIG way.  The experience has been truly inspiring to us.  It's one thing to hear God calling you to move...it's a-whole-nother thing to actually move.