Friday, March 28, 2008

::progress::

So, here is what I have accomplished this week (thankfully I have been on spring break!):
  • Completed 48 essay questions (I deserve a medal!)
  • Acquired copies of marriage & birth certificates, 1040's for the past two years, & physician's recommendation
  • Had insurance affidavit signed
  • Finished openness questionnaire
  • Filled out numerous medical and family history forms
  • Filled out financial forms & budget sheet
  • Mailed criminal background check
  • Had fingerprinting done (no ink! digital scans--very cool! very CSI-ish)
  • Signed I don't know how many forms about fees, procedures, rights & grievances

Still left to do:

  • My husband has to finish his essay questions; he's about 2/3 of the way through
  • Get health screenings for TB, HIV, and drugs
  • Get guardian statement notarized

When my husband's essay questions are done, I can email them to the social worker this weekend and we'll schedule our first home visit for NEXT WEEK!!!

I can't believe how much we've gotten done this week; our first homestudy visit is so soon! I'm really excited that we're moving through this so fast. We'll get our health screenings next week, so I'm glad that won't hold up our visit. Gosh, I'm just SO excited! (I said that already, didn't I?)

::

Last night we visited some folks in the hospital who had just had a baby. For the first time in 4 years, I held a teeny tiny newborn without one single regret. My heart didn't hurt at all.

And that, my friends, is what they call.....PROGRESS!

XOXOX

glenna

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

::drowning in paperwork::

Hi friends.

I am TIRED of the paperwork already! I stopped after two straight hours of writing yesterday.
My husband took this picture when I was on essay question 20 of 48!! I ended up quitting for the day because my husband was working on something in the "nursery." I feel a little silly for having this already, but it has encouraged me so much to have something tangible to remind me that this IS happening!
I can't BELIEVE I have baby furniture in the "nursery" upstairs!! I've still got to order my glider, and I can't wait for it to get here so I can sit in it while I pray for the little one who will occupy that room. (The walls will eventually be painted green.)
Our background checks have been mailed, our fingerprinting appointment is set for Thursday, I'm waiting for the doctor's office to call for appointments for our physical exams, and I'm working my way through the paperwork.
As soon as the paperwork is completed, we'll move on to the homestudy visits, which should move pretty fast.
I'm sorry I've been lax about updating. I'm currently on spring break, so I'm immersing myself in my essay questions. Hopefully it will be done by the end of the week. You wouldn't believe what they ask you! I know they want to be thorough, but...good grief!
Anyway...that's what is going on in my world right now. I've been doing MUCH better in regard to infertility. Hope and excitement about our adoption is filling me to overflowing.
XOXOX,
glenna

Saturday, March 15, 2008

what can I say?

I'm still pulling myself out of a fog. Sometimes it is glaringly obvious that God is showing me He is faithful. The rest of the time I merely shut my eyes to His apparent goodness.

Things with adoption are going well...quickly, even. Our first homestudy visit (1 of 3) is tentatively scheduled for March 26th. That was a lot quicker than I was expecting, but I will most definitely take it. I have a lot to do to get the house in order, although I doubt our S.W. will take her walk through on the very first visit. Our guest room is in shambles since we've been giving it a much needed face lift. The walls are painted and the crown molding is back up (as of today), but I cannot say the same for the chair rail and baseboards that are laying across the coverless bed. The carpet is going to be ripped up as well to expose the hardwood beneath...and well, I can't imagine getting all of that done in addition to a thorough cleaning of the house before the meeting! Oh well. We'll just do what we can do.

I'm almost embarrassed to say that we went shopping for baby furniture last night! We ate dinner out and talked about our first purchase for "our" baby....it was exciting to finally be making this step. My parents sent a check to furnish the nursery (they are the greatest parents ever) so we were eager to go ahead and buy what we've been eyeing for a while. I still feel like a kid sneaking into the candy shop when we visit the baby aisles. We have nothing to show for being there--no registry in our hand that would signify shopping for someone else, no pregnant belly stating the obvious, no infant in our arms to show we really deserve to be there. It's still a bit strange.

Unfortunately, "out of stock" are my new least favorite words. Apparently what we chose is very hard to find, so we came home with nothing after shopping. I was disappointed. I had been looking forward to putting the furniture together and finally having something tangible to remind me that we are going to become parents. When I'm discouraged, as I've been lately, I'd like to run my hand over the rails of the crib and hope for the child who will one day sleep there. I want to sit in the glider and imagine what it would be like to rock our baby in the wee hours of the morning. But, that will come. I'm sure we'll find a store that is actually carrying what we want, and we'll get it home and set up long before the baby comes home. I've just been a little short on patience for the last 4 years.

Things are going, moving, propelling us toward the day that we long for. It's hard to believe we are actually going through with this. It feels like it's going by quickly...while at the same time not happening fast enough. I am still struggling with pregnancies and baby bellies and showers and all the like, but I'm trying to hang on to what I know: God's plan is good. I may not "get it" all the time, but I can believe it because His Word says it's true.

Happy weekend.

XOXOX,
glenna

Thursday, March 6, 2008

the baby blues (of the infertility variety)

I am very excited about our adoption. You all know that. At times my enthusiasm could benefit from a little suppression. But, for some reason, the baby blues still continue. Perhaps it's simply because, although we are expecting to bring a baby home through adoption, we still don't have a child yet.

Babies and pregnancies still send a pang of sadness through my being. I...still hurt. I think for a few weeks, I was leaning on the thrill of our plans to adopt. The hope of actually becoming a mother was enough to bring a smile to my lips. But, as reality has settled in I find myself chafing under the process of paperwork and screening and waiting. I go back and forth between the emotions of longing to bear a child and yet, I have become inexplicably attached to this--someone--whom we may bring home through adoption. In a sequential sense, adoption was our "Plan B," I guess. Not that we think one way of bringing a baby into the family is better than the other. We had always planned to adopt. I just thought one way would follow the other.

The other day I listened to this sermon by John Piper on adoption. I made the mistake of listening to it in parts while getting ready for work in the mornings. Try putting on eye makeup and listening to the beautiful way that adoption models the gospel!! I kept having to reapply. Piper encouraged me to see adoption not as inferior to biologically adding to one's family...it's just different. I know that. It's just good to hear it from a person who has done it both ways.

I know that adoption doesn't "fix" our infertility and that our adopted child is in no way a mere substitution for a biological child. The child we adopt will be the child that God chose before the foundations of the world to be ours to raise. Let that sink in. I have to stop myself and make statements like that so that I don't lose perspective. Oh, perspective, what a necessary friend you are. When I can step back and take a good, hard look at my life, I can see a beauty in what God has planned. In His wounding us with infertility, He has done the thing that HAS to bring Him the most glory, the thing that is best for US. And, I believe that He wounds that He might bring blessed healing.

It's in the little moments of pregnancy announcements and baby showers and unintentional painful references to our "free time" because we don't have children that I begin to doubt that any of this can be good.

And then, last night, I dreamt that I was holding our adopted baby. I was sad to wake up and find him to be only the substance of a deep sleep. Love doesn't come just because a baby is born of your body. Love is present because God--Who IS Love--graciously gives it to us.

A rambling post...but I was told I needed to update more regularly (Al!), so I thought I'd let you know what's going on in my mind today.

XOXOX,
glenna

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
We are in the midst of our paperwork. Conveniently, it is all done online which expedites the process. I'm not sure how much there is to do, but we are working our way through it.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

::first meeting::

(This is a duplicate post from our family blog. To skip down to new content, scroll down.)

We met our social worker for the first time on Friday (our previous meeting got snowed out) and got our required informational meeting out of the way. Normally, our info meeting would take place at the agency or another public place with lots of other potentially adoptive parents, but since our social worker lives near us, she decided to come to our house to give us a one-on-one presentation. Let me tell you, I could not have hand-picked a better person to work with through this adoption process!! She has the perfect temperament for her job--soft spoken, organized, gentle, genuine, encouraging, straightforward...she has a de-stressing personality, which is SO great for walking with us through our adoption process. And, she's a believer (which is not a surprise since our agency is a "Christian" agency, but still it is a blessing to have a genuine believer to work with!).

We walked through the process and we got to ask all of our questions. She gave us loads of info without "overloading" us, if that makes sense. Instead of feeling overwhelmed about it all, we just feel...ready! And excited!! She will be mailing our formal paperwork in the next couple of days, and then we'll begin filling it out. She said she could get our homestudy done in three visits, and she likes to do them all pretty closely together and to get them out of the way. She has a very "on top of things" demeanor about her. Nothing has lapsed in our process thus far, and I have a feeling nothing will in the future. The night before, I was cleaning the house like a fiend and baking cookies at 10pm! William laughed at me and said, "you made cookies for our meeting?!" I said, "Well, this lady is going to give us a baby!! The least I can do is serve cookies and coffee!"

Some things we found out about that we really didn't know about: tax credit. Well, we knew we'd get one next year when we file our taxes (assuming that our adoption takes place this year), but we didn't know it could be such a large number! That will go straight into the bank for our next adoption. Then our state government will give us a subsidy since we are doing the minority infant program. They'll reimburse us for a good bit of the legal fees. Craziness! Who knew the Missouri state government was so generous toward adoptive families??

There was lots of other information, but basically our next step is paperwork and then our homestudy which should happen in the foreseeable future. We were so encouraged by all of it. Several people have said to me, "Well, now you're 'paper pregnant!' " I guess in some ways it IS like waiting for our baby through pregnancy--we know we're going to end up with a child (Lord willing), but we do have to wait and prepare. I'm just hoping we don't have to wait 9 full months. :-)Thanks to those of you who were praying for us on Friday!! We're excited about how it's all going. We'll update on our process later as we get more into our paperwork and move on towards our homestudy. We are also encouraged that the Lord is providing exactly what we need when we need it, financially speaking. His grace is truly sufficient, and has been shown to us in the most unexpected ways.

:: (End of duplicate post) ::

What does it feel like to be here in this point of our process?

I've received several supportive emails from readers who are at the same point or just past where I am. I've also been emailing back and forth with some friends who are already mothers through adoption. It has been wonderful to connect with others so I can interrogate them! :-) (You think I'm joking, but they can vouch for me!) Sometimes I stop and think, "What in the world am I doing?" I don't know how to be a mom! I've spent the past four years trying to get pregnant and though my husband and I have talked at length about how we want to parent, the thoughts of actually preparing bottles for midnight feedings and diaper changes, for shaping the worldview of a little person, for teaching my child the gospel from the start, for playing and enjoying my little one, for enduring crying fits that I can't stop, for disciplining when they get a little older...all these things are as jumbled together in my mind as they are on this page. I've been so obsessed with becoming a mother that I've thought little about what kind of mother I'll actually be!

I guess that when trying to conceive was our main objective, I felt I never needed to think about this until I saw two pink lines. I've still never seen those two precious pink lines, but there is another beautiful option in front of me which will allow me to be what I long to be. So, now is the time to think about that person. What will I look like as a mother? Biblical, is what I long for that answer to be. Proverbs 31-ish, if you will.

I know my primary reading audience is still struggling through infertility. I'm still there with you. The tears still well up when one cycle ends and another begins. My heart still is pierced when I see pregnant bellies. I can't change that deep desire of my heart. In one sense I feel compelled to forget what is behind and press on to what is before us--and I do so with much excitement, but sometimes I wonder if I will ever let go of the desire to bear a child.

This won't turn into a blog about motherhood. It will still be a place for me to wrestle with my emotions and to affirm that you are not alone in your circumstances. God is good in His plans. I cannot attest to this fact enough.

Sorry for such a lapse between updates.

-glenna-