Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Two years later....

Two years ago today, Jesse and I were still in Colorado visiting our family for Christmas when, my Mom sat me down to talk.  Now, by the look on her face, I knew it couldn't be good news.  Thoughts went racing through my mind.  Then, she said it.  She told me that she had cancer, and was going to have surgery right after we flew out of town.  What?!?! I thought.  Of all the worst case scenarios that played out in my head when she started talking when we sat down, that. was. not. one of them.  I was shocked.  I was stunned.  I was sad.  She explained a little more to me, and then I brought Jesse into the room and we told him.  We all embraced, but I couldn't help but think that our life, her life, my life, all of our lives would never be the same.  This woman, who in her very essence brought me (and my sisters) into this world, brought us to faith in Christ and was the who holds our family together, was sick.  Very sick with cancer.  The outcomes were unknown.  It was scary.

I changed my flight that day, so that I would be able to stay for my Mom's surgery and some of her recovery.  Jesse went down to his parents house to spend a couple of days with them before heading back to NC but I couldn't leave my Mom's side.  I kept thinking that just the days before we had been celebrating Christmas and having a great time.  Then just the day before she told me, we had gone up to Rocky Mountain National Park where we hiked all around Bear Lake in deep snow.  She never let on that anything was wrong.  She never let on that she was sick.  That she had cancer.  That she, could be dying.

Thankfully, a few days later she had surgery that successfully removed all of the cancer (by the top oncologist in the Rockies).  My sister, who also lives out of state, flew in with her infant daughter to be there by my Mom's side for her surgery and some recovery.  My other sister came down for a day with her oldest daughter to spend time with my Mom during recovery.

The fight wasn't over yet though.  She had a painful road to recovery because of where the cancer was and how aggressive the surgery had to be.  She also endured weeks of intense radiation therapy a couple of months later.  My Mom has always been a strong woman.  She's competitive and always has been active, often out hiking any of us girls.  She's proven to be an even stronger fighter throughout this whole process though.  A few months after her surgery and therapy, my Mom had the opportunity to be a part of a Cancer Rehab program where she had a personal trainer and worked out 4 times a week.  She not only stuck with that for the time it was offered, but has since gotten a personalized training plan at her local gym and has gotten my dad on board too!  She inspires me with her strength, her faith and her wisdom.  I love that she never gives up, even when the going gets treacherous.  I am so proud of my 2 year Cancer Surviving Mom, who is stronger today than ever!

Today, I'm more thankful than ever for my Mom.  My best friend.  My hero.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Home visits: Check!

Well, two weeks have passed since our last update and quite a bit has happened.  :)

Our home has been studied, and while we are waiting for the write up about it, the hard work (for us!) is over!   We finished our autobiographies a few days before the first home visit.  Mine was a record for our social worker at 8 pages long...and I still missed some kind of big things in my life...apparently I'm wordy!  ha!:)  Jesse's was 3 nice, concise pages.

I was so nervous for our first home visit which was on Sunday the 14th, the day after the big party I'd been planning most of the year at my work.  But to my surprise, it was much less stressful than I thought it would be.  Our social worker is very friendly and easy to talk to.  She asked us questions about our life, why we'd like to adopt, etc.. and then we scheduled the next visit.  We chatted for about 2 hours, and while she did take a brief tour of our home she didn't see the locking medicine cabinet that we had installed, or the outlet covers, etc.  That we apparently, as I had originally suspected, didn't really need yet.  But it's better to be safe than sorry, right?  That's always been my motto at least....

Ok, fast forward to the next home visit which was Friday the 19th.  Our nice social worker asked us (more like Jesse because I had covered most of my life in my 8....pages....) more questions about our childhood, upbringing, family and then onto our Marriage.  The second home visit was also around 2 hours long and very, very painless.  (Not that I thought either would be painful....I just stressed over nothing really.)  Typically it takes about 4 weeks for the paperwork to be finished after the second home visit.  So sometime in mid-January or so, we should be good to go on the wait-list with our Agency!  Woot!

Speaking of our Agency, we just submitted our lifebook (basically a scrapbook with some additional things in it) for approval!  Once we get it approved, we can order the 25 copies that they will show to potential birth parents!  Hoping to find a sale on Shutterfly, or something!  (Photobooks are currently on sale until the 28th, but not sure we will get it back and approved by then...)  Praying!

In other news, it's two day before Christmas and while I am very, very sad that we can't be back in Colorado or with any family for the actual holiday...I was reminded tonight by my sweet husband that at least we have family that we'd like to be with.  So tonight, I'm thankful for my family.  Those young, old and in-between.  Those who I will see in just a few days, few weeks, few months or few years.  Those who are living and those who I had the privileged of knowing part of my life.  Thanks for being part of my family, either by blood or marriage!  :)  I love you all!

And of course, Merry Christmas!!!!!

Here's an updated prayer request list below.  Thanks for praying with us!

-For our Homestudy.
-That we continue to save and raise the remaining $9,500.
-That we continue to grow closer to God and each other through this process.
-For the birthmother and baby.
-For the caseworkers who we will work with on our Home Study and those at our Adoption Agency.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Homestudy here we come!

Wow, a lot has happened since I updated last!  We successfully got a new printer on the night of Thanksgiving--so thankful for the people working that night!  (Who knew I'd ever patron a store then....)  Jesse successfully mailed the application to Open Door on that Friday ensuring the application fee would be waived!  (Saved=$300!!)  Then we got two different fingerprints done last week and got our homestudy app into the local agency.  We also applied to get our state and local clearances for here and Colorado.  Late last week we got the email from Open Door that accepted us into the African American Domestic Infant Program!  Woohoo!!  Witht hat email we also got the second round of paperwork.

We are currently working on our autobiographies for our homestudy agency which we will hopefully get done tonight!  We have our first (of two) home visits this Sunday afternoon!  While we are nervous, I think we will be ready for it!  So excited this is actually happening!!!  At times, I find it hard to believe, then I look through my email and see it. really. is. happening!  Praise the Lord!!!    

Here's an updated prayer request list below.  Thanks for praying with us!
-That we get our autobios done soon.
-That our house is ready for the first home visit.
-For our Homestudy, particularly the first home visit.
-That we continue to save and raise the remaining $9,500.
-That we continue to grow closer to God and each other through this process.
-For the birthmother and baby.
-For the caseworkers who we will work with on our Home Study and those at our Adoption Agency.