Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Adoption Update

I haven't updated on our adoption in a long while mostly because there have not been many updates.  Our profile book gets shown every now and then.  We have officially been waiting for a year this month.  This has definitely been the fastest year ever.

This past week held the most excitement and followed with the most heartbreak we have had so far.  While we were not matched, we certainly went through a roller coaster of emotions, up and down.
We were emailed last Tuesday, a week ago, and asked to consider a very special case of a little boy born a few weeks prior, Baby S.  He had a congenital condition that was pretty severe and not a whole lot was known about his prognosis or what his life would look like in the future.

This email was different than other past special needs cases we had considered because it was a direct email to us and not just an agency wide email.  Because of that, we wanted to do our due diligence and do our research before we said no.  After researching, reading, praying, talking to those with experience, we felt like we could make a decision

It was not until Thursday night that we made the decision to be considered for this little one.  This one happened to be an agency pick because it was the decision of the both parents to have a closed adoption at this time.

I was sent two pictures of this precious one on Friday.  It was so amazing to have a face to the name and be able to picture him while I prayed for him.

We were one of three families in the state that asked to be considered--a blessing in and of itself.  The fact that this little one was so wanted by so many was so encouraging!  We expected an answer on who was chosen this Thursday, but were a little caught off guard (and relieved) to find out they made an early decision on Monday.  Their decision was to go ahead with another family for reasons we completely understood.

I was heartbroken, but my immediate reaction was that I was so happy he finally had a family of his own and that we finally knew after several very long days what the final decision was.  It wasn't until a few hours later that it really sunk in that all those visions of meeting him and holding him and doing life with him were never going to come to fruition.  He was never ours and I knew that, but when there is a name, pictures, and updates nearly everyday, you get attached.  I can honestly say that Monday was one of the hardest days I've had in a very very long time and I cried harder than I have in probably years.

But with all that sadness is such joy and hope for this little one and his new family.  Believing in a sovereign God means I KNOW there is a plan for us and I KNOW the baby we have the privilege of raising will come to us someday.

If you think of it, will you pray for Baby S?  He is so precious and I cannot wait to hear how he does in the future (updates are possible for us in the future because of our involvement in his case).

<3 Dani

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Still Here!

It's been a while since I've updated and I have a minute while Addie takes a VERY late nap.  At first, when I thought I'd update, I didn't feel like I had much to update on.  Life has been relatively the same for the past few months.  We got through the holidays, went on a few short weekend trips, and got into our new routine for the year.  Then as I started thinking about it more, I realized I really do have a lot to share about our journey right now.

No, we have not been matched, but that's perfectly fine.

Other things have been happening.  Our profile was shown once in both December and January.  I have no details on either of those except that they did not call us for a match meeting or further information. I'm not sad about that, it just is the way it goes.

While we have been waiting, we've been doing reading and researching.  I guess in December the weight of all of this hit be like a ton of bricks.  It's heavy stuff.

You see, I have the weight of knowing a mother is going to carry her child to term, then hand it over to, basically, complete strangers.  While we hope to have an open relationship with the child's first family, it is still a deep wound left in her heart.  We researched a few agencies before settling on ours.  The biggest reason we went with ours is because of both the transparency of their organization and their desire to eliminate conflicts of interest when it comes to placement.  They counsel the expectant mothers, but do not pressure them (something I was really cognizant of).  Placements fall through, and that is perfectly okay.  The baby we are matched with is not born ours.  The baby's first mother has every right to keep her baby and I respect that right fully.  I think recognizing that fact is/will be helpful as we are matched with a baby.  But it's still all a very heavy feeling.

But along with all the heavy feelings comes joy for the baby we will, Lord willing, bring home one day.  We have been preparing in little stages.  Jon and I listened to a podcast that was recommended by our adoption counselor.  We bought Addie a couple of big sister books that skip the "mommy is pregnant" parts.  We bought a crib to sidecar to our bed.  I borrowed a book from the library (also recommended to read by our adoption counselor.  Cloth diapers are coming in a few at a time as we get ready for round 2!

It is all happening really fast, even with the long wait.  The end of this month marks 8 months of official waiting and a year since we began this process.  We've met people along the way that are in the same stage as us and others who have brought baby home already, all of whom have been great support systems in this very difficult and emotional process.

Please pray for us (and all those involved) as we get closer to a match.

Two really great books that even show breastfeeding and babywearing!

Getting the squish wraps all ready!

They are so tiny and ready for a tiny baby bum!

"Strength-based, culture-sensitizing parenting strategies for inter-country and domestic adoptive families that don't "match".  We don't know whether we will have a transracial adoption, but it's important to educate ourselves on it in case we do.  Regardless, there's a lot of good info in.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I know Mommy. I know.

It was the night before we left to visit family for Thanksgiving and I was furiously working to get all the cooking done that I had volunteered for before we hit the road.  Everything was done except the pies.  I had tested the pie a few days before (and also ate said pie almost entirely on my own) and it turned out perfectly. 

But today was different.  The pie crust wouldn’t stick together, then it was too sticky.  Back and forth I went-- water then flour then water then flour.  I slammed the dough into the bowl and shouted my disapproval at this ridiculous mess of a pie I was making.  There may have also been tears.  My house was a mess, these pies were a mess, my life was a mess.  Through the tears and my disbelief that I was THAT bad at pie making, I felt a hug around my leg.  As my sweet two year old held my leg and patted me, all she kept repeating was, “I know, Mommy.  I know.” 

Those words are the reassuring words I offer when she is upset at the world.  When she sees me pick up everything I desire at the store and toss it into the cart, but I don’t let her keep that toy she grabbed off the shelf.  I know, Addie.  I know.  When Daddy is on a call and she can’t go into his office.  I know, Addie.  I know.  When she trips and scrapes her knee.  I know, Addie.  I know.

For a few days after my pie fit, Addie would gently remind me in random places.  In the car I’d hear her say, “Mommy, I know you made apple pie.  I know.”    

It made me smile that in my time of frustration she offered the empathy I had been offering to her for two years.  She understood that I was upset and knew the only thing she could offer was her words as comfort.  I try so hard to understand her world and how it must look to her.  I lose my cool plenty, but I get down and look into her eyes and ask forgiveness.  I want her to know that I am a listening and understanding ear so that whenever she feels hurt she knows she can come to me.  I can’t fix all the injustices in this 2 year old‘s world, but I can listen and offer my ear and tell her, “It’s okay.  I know, Addie.  I know.”

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Our Adoption Story: A Little Update

Lest you think I am leading you on, we have NOT been matched, but it's still an exciting update, nonetheless.  

Adoption is such a huge waiting process.  You wait as you get through all the paperwork, then you wait as you go through your homestudy, and now we are waiting to be placed.

We were well aware as we got on the waiting list July 1st that we would be waiting with little to no updates for at least about 12-18months.  Our social worker said it could be a little bit before that when our profile was shown regularly, but we shouldn't count on that.  

Our profile was shown this past month after just a few months on the list.  It was a special circumstance--the expectant mother wanted very specific things that we fulfilled, so we are not being shown regularly yet, but it was at least something!  Our adoption counselor did not get any feedback from the pregnancy counselor in Richmond, so we do not know if the expectant mother chose another family or decided to parent.

But either way, this was not our match and that is okay!  It's all in God's timing. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fall Capsule Wardrobe

I am SO excited about this post.  It's been weeks in the works.  Over the past month or so, I've pared down all of my clothes for every season.  I have NEVER been organized, but I am trying harder, starting with my wardrobe.

I first started seeing "capsule wardrobes" pop up on Pinterest about a year ago. The idea was really cool--a simple wardrobe that generally goes together so you can mix and match pieces.  Fall will be the first season of me officially doing this.

This was my inspiration and what I drew heavily from: http://theproject333.com/getting-started/

I'll be putting all of my summer pieces away and retiring (donating/throwing away) things I am done with or don't particularly enjoy wearing.

I have a few more pieces that I'll save for my winter capsule.  A lot of my fall capsule can switch over to winter, but there are a few pieces I'll switch out/add.

My capsule is really top heavy.  Like really top heavy.  I am missing a pair of jeans (how do clothes go missing?!) that I will add when I find them, making me have 4 bottoms.  I think that is sufficient for me as I have a few favorites I would wear all the time anyway.

So enough talking!  Here it is.  Forgive me for the terrible pictures.  I couldn't wait until morning light to take pictures to post.

Here is the breakdown:

1 pair of jeans
1 pair of slacks
1 pair of leggings
3 sweater dresses
1 pencil skirt
4 sweaters
5 t-shirts (long/short sleeve)
1 thin jersey cardigan
2 blouses
4 jersey scarves
2 belts
3 pairs of shoes
3 camis/tanks
31 pieces total
The whole capsule

5 tshirts, 2 blouses, cardigan

3 sweater dresses, pencil skirt

Jersey infinity scarves

4 sweaters

Leggings, jeans, slacks
<3 Dani

Thursday, September 3, 2015

We're Expecting!

One of the hardest parts of the adoption process so far, besides the piles and piles of paperwork, has been the fact that we are expecting, but not outwardly.  There is a lot that does not happen like in a personal pregnancy:

  • I am not sick like last time we were expecting (thank the Lord!)
  • My pants aren't getting tighter and tighter as my belly grows with a little one inside.
  • We have no set date to tell friends and family.
  • I have no physical way to bond with our future little one before they actually arrive. 

It's very different in many ways, but also the same in others:

  • We talk about "New Baby" all the time, daily even.
  • I purchase baby carriers with the little one in mind.
  • We pray for our little one (and their expectant family).
  • We are preparing Addie through conversations and books.
WE know it feels similar, but many others don't realize that.  In conversations I have I have to constantly remind myself that it's not obvious that we too are expecting.  In fact recently I had to be reminded that I could fill out paperwork for a baby registry because I am actually expecting.  Good on you, Babies R Us for having an adoption option on the paperwork!

So join me in this "Paper Pregnancy".  It's not the same, but prayers for a healthy pregnancy and delivery are coveted for our future little one and the brave woman who will be carrying them. <3

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Our Adoption Story: Our Profile Book

These past few months have not been super exciting on the adoption front.  The home study happened, but it needed to be completed and approved.  

While we were waiting we created our profile book.  It was quite a process summing up who we are in a book that will be the first impression expectant parents will have.  It was so hard to choose which pictures to put in!  The hardest part though were the words.  We wrote a letter to the expectant parents that will view our book and we had a few pages throughout the book with information about who we are as parents and as people in general.  It was information that ranged from what our educational background is to our ideas on parenting and discipline.  

Here are a few pages!

So here we are!  We were told today that we are OFFICIALLY on the wait list for a little one!  It is still a long road ahead, but we are excited, even if it means waiting on God's perfect timing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Our Adoption Story: The Beginning

We announced about a month ago that we have chosen adoption for our second child.  If you're curious why, here are some challenges we faced a few years ago:

You can read HERE, HERE, and HERE.

In this time in our lives we feel we are being called to adopt and have started the process.

It's a several step process to get to placement:

     1. Informational meeting at the agency (we did ours the end of February)

     2. Two day training (Middle of March)

     3. Homestudy paperwork (a mountain!)

     4. Actual Homestudy (Starts this Thursday!)

     5. Official waiting period (should start in a few months and could last up to a few years)

We are SUPER excited about this and cannot wait to bring our little Bug #2 home.  Please pray for us as we wait on God's timing and as we raise money to bring home our little one (more on that later!).

Monday, May 18, 2015


Surprise!  I'm back!

I have updated a lot around here, including the blog name.  I dusted and removed the cobwebs to get ready to chronicle life as we go through the domestic adoption process and raise our little bug, Addie.
Oh, and another thing, I GRADUATED!  No more student-mom!  I am so excited about that!

So here's to a new start and new adventures.  Here are some spring pictures :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

HG Awareness Day

I have not blogged in a REALLY long time, but today's post is too long for a simple Facebook status update.  Today is Hyperemesis Gravidarum Awareness Day.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a pregnancy sickness marked by unrelenting nausea and vomiting for much, if not all of a pregnancy.  I suffered during over half of my pregnancy with Addie and because of it, I hope I can bring awareness to as many people as I can so other women get the help they need.

HG is NOT morning sickness.  It does not go away with ginger or gatorade or sea bands or crackers.  It does not end in the first trimester.  In addition to the constant vomiting, the emotional turmoil a sufferer goes through is tremendous and it can linger for a long time after the pregnancy.

It's true that you don't get HG until you GET HG.

So before you tell an HG sufferer that you know how they feel because you also had morning sickness, take a second to educate yourself on what it means to actually suffer from HG.  So much of my journey is burned into my mind.

I remember the unrelenting nausea that turned into nonstop vomiting over and over and over again.  I remember the time I was so incredibly sure I could not ever be pregnant again, let alone make it through this pregnancy.  I remember being so hungry, but so unable to eat a single bite of food or drink water. I remember having Jon uninstall every app on my phone that had anything to do with food.  I remember not wanting to talk on the phone for fear that I would have to cut the conversation short. I remember not being able to shower without vomiting and feeling dizzy, so I took baths and Jon helped me in and out.I remember driving to the ER over and over again to get IV fluids.  I remember my first care provider treating me like I was being silly.  I remember watching the scale go down every time I stepped on it.  I remember having to remind myself what I was sick for.

I remember holding my sweet 7 pound, 1 oz baby in my arms and knowing it was all worth it.  

The hardest part of suffering, besides feeling weak and sick all the time was the loneliness.  As much as people tried to empathize, they would never know what it felt like.  There were long days of being home alone in bed just dying to have my husband home from work.  I wished so much that someone would just come sit in the same room with me.  There were even longer nights when I would just pray for the sun to come up while I was sleeping on the bathroom floor so Jon would be by my side again.  And there was a very lonely 4 day hospital stay, even with family in and out, Jon could not stay with me because of work.

But I didn't even have it as bad as some.  Addie and I survived, which is more than can be said for some. I had a few months of good days, some don't have any.

So today remember those who have suffered, are suffering and will suffer.  Pray for them and especially for those who lose their babies because of this horrible condition.