Wednesday, December 9, 2015

God never wastes a hurt.

It’s been a while since I updated last.  I feel like I end up writing that every time I blog.  Regardless, I feel compelled to write now.

The interesting thing is that this news is in no way good news.  In fact, it’s pretty much the most terrible news anyone could get short of hearing about the death of a loved one.  (I will get to it in the 4th to the last paragraphs if you'd rather jump there before reading the rest, otherwise sit back and enjoy my heart out on my sleeve.)

But at the same time, I am reminded of God’s timing, His will for my life and that while I sometimes have the illusion of control, He is the one who is in complete control.  Not me.  And that is a good thing.

If we had gotten this news 10 months, 2 years or 7 years ago it would have been even more devastating that is was this morning.  In fact, I’m willing to bet it would have been too much for either one of us to handle and that is why God didn’t let us find out until now.

We recently were studying Romans 8 at Church and one of the sermons had this line that I can’t seem to get out of my head lately (partly because it is posted in one of our bathrooms so I see it every time I wash my hands in there) that says “God never wastes a hurt.”  Now, I think the Pastor who said it gave someone else credit for it, and I don’t have that in our notes.  But regardless of who originally said it.  It is so true.

God never wastes a hurt.  Just think about the weight of that statement.

God:  the one Supreme Being, the Creator and Ruler of the universe
Never:  not at all; absolutely not
Waste:  to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander, to fail or neglect to use
Hurt:  injury, damage or harm

So that means that the Creator of the Universe absolutely cannot neglect to use our damage or pain.

You won’t hear me say that we won’t still have hurts in our lives.  We still will experience damage, pain or sometimes harm.  But in the end, He will use it..  God is never going to waste something that we go through.  Granted there isn’t a guarantee that we will even see how He uses it.   But rest assured, He will never waste a hurt.

You know, when we announced that we were pursuing adoption in this post, we were thrilled to start the process.  We had always planned on adopting, and now more than ever am I glad we pursued that avenue first!  Our sweet little ray of sunshine is currently napping upstairs.  He is forever not a second choice or alternative.  He was our first choice.  Our son.  He was chosen.  He was adopted into our family, just like the reminder he serves that we were adopted into God’s family.  But in contrast, our adoption into God’s family had nothing to do with us, but everything to do with God sending His Son to pay the price of our debt.  He was the ultimate sacrifice and because of Him we can be reunited in our relationship with God.

If it weren’t for that little ray of sun upstairs and the reminder that he helps serve, I’m not sure I could even be writing this right now.  Today, after trying to conceive for three (plus) years, we have been diagnosed with infertility.  We don’t know specifics yet, and I’m not sure we even want to.  Tests and samples were taken, specialists have been referred but we are still seeking prayer about how to proceed.  There are more questions than answers now, and while I’m glad I went ahead and went to the Dr. today after some unusual circumstances….I’m grieving.  And thankful.  And very ripe with emotions.

It makes me all the more thankful for the opportunity of adoptions whether domestic or international.  It makes me even more sick at the thought of abortions, because every little life is a blessing--no matter how they were conceived or how inconvenient one might think that pregnancy is.  But most of all, it makes me pray for all the babies around the world, whether in utero or just born, or a few weeks or months old.  It makes me want to pray for mothers, those with children in heaven, those with children on earth and those who have not yet become mothers for whatever reason.  It makes me want to pray for our nation, our world, our family.

It’s been a rough last few weeks and I thought I would get some of it out on here.  I don’t want anyone’s pity.  We don’t need that.  We will gladly take prayers and words of wisdom though.  We love you all, near and far!  I know this is painful to go through, but God has a plan and He is simply not capable of wasting this hurt.  So in Him we will seek refuge and healing.

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Pslam 46 KJV

Special thanks to some of my close friends from Durham who have been praying with me this week and also my sweet hubby and Mom for their support and prayers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's final!

So, I'll admit that I've been putting off updating our blog for ....well....three months (as I see that our last post was in July)...for a number of reasons.  Part of it is because I didn't have much to 'update' on.  Part of it is me not wanting to put things in writing (for a variety of reasons). Part of it was just not having the answers I wanted or not taking the time to put things into words.  That being said, this will likely be a pretty big update. :)

We were very thankful to be able to make the move across the country together in Mid-August.  My mom flew out to help me drive without little almost 5 month old while J drove the Jeep with our cat.  J's new job paid for the move and while it was quite an adventure to actually get things packed up (they did most of it) and loaded, it was SO nice to be able to say good bye to our stuff and just drive with a few things and our people in our cars.  

My good friend A. (and former co-worker and Church-mate--is that a word?) came over to our house with her two kids and helped us clean before we left.  What a blessing she  has been to my life.  We ended up getting our ENTIRE deposit (security and pet!) back from our place!  Thanks definitely to A, her kids, my Mom and J for helping me get that place looking better than the day we moved in! :)  Woohoo!

 On our way to Colorado we stopped at my sister's house in KY for a couple of nights and got to have a quick, but lovely visit with her sweet family.  Then we drove the rest of the way without any major issues.  (Lost an oil cap and had a minor oil leak...but all in all the 1700 miles went very smoothly!)  

We arrived in Colorado on a Sunday evening and J started work the very next morning.  Not entirely sure how he did it....but he's amazing (not that I'm partial or anything ;) and has loved every minute of his new job.  Little J and I stayed with my parents for a about a week while we waited for our truck of our belongings to get here.  

Little J was such a trooper on those long days in the car! (Thankfully and my Mom was a huge help!)  Speaking of my Mom being a HUGE help, she's been so helpful helping me unpack things and make our 'house a home'.  We love the townhouse we are renting from friends.  It is on the West side of town which is perfect for hiking, biking (well in a few months when little J can ride in a trailer) adn walking.  J has also been able to ride the bus or his bike to work most of the time which is awesome!  Soemthing he could never safely do while in NC because A. it was not as bike friendly as CO and B. we lived a bit far from campus.  

J is busy setting up his lab and working and really enjoying it.  How many people actually get to do their dream job?  Not many that I know at least.  We are SO thankful for this job, this move, our marriage, our son and our relationship with Christ.  There have been ups and downs these last three months, this calendar year and of course our whole lives.  But there is one aspect that (who) is never changing, and that is our great God.  Which reminds me of many songs, but specially this one right now:  "His love never fails, it never gives up, and it never runs out on me."  So true.  So evident throughout the whole resounding theme of the Bible. (Highlighting a few below.)

He cared for us from the beginning and created each of us unique.  "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13  And he cares so much he even knows the number of hairs we have on our heads. (Luke 12:7)  But after the fall (Genesis) we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and the wages for sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. (Rom. 6:23)  He made a way for us to be able to repay Him, and since we never could do enough or be good enough, He sent this Son to pay our debt.  He loved us that much.  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16  For by grace we have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:8

What a beautiful picture of sacrificial love.  So thankful for Jesus and what He has done for us.  

Early this morning the court in NC finalized our adoption.  Little J was placed with us just over 6 months ago, and while there were a few hiccups along the everything really went pretty smoothly, just not quickly.  But, we are SO happy it is final and that today we celebrate our Adoption Day!  Happy, Happy Adoption Day!!!  I got a little cookie cake to celebrate!  We would praise the Lord any way it all ended, but we are SOOO glad that little J is our forever son and we are his forever family.

Sorry for the potentially broken up trains of thought, wanted to try to be real with y'all and update too....hopefully I sort of caught you up on what's happened these last few months.  Needless to say, little J is very loved and has now gotten to meet all of his Grandparents, Great-Grandmas, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins (minus one) and some of his great-aunts/uncles and second cousins!  Love him to pieces.  So thankful for little J's kind heart, happy disposition and eagerness to learn.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

The next phase of our Journey

So, as you may have heard through facebook or us telling you (in person or on the phone) that Jesse has accepted a position in Colorado and we will be moving soon!  It's really been quite a whirl-wind of a summer and year!  First we got on the waiting list for adoptive couples, then we got matched, then we had a placement of baby J and while my parents were still visiting (and we thought that we had heard from all the places Jesse had applied to this round) he got a notice that he was being invited for an interview in Colorado!  Fast forward to this week and he got the official offer letter and accepted it!  What answered prayers!  A great job, at a great institution, in a great city, in a great state, close to most of our family and friends. <3>

While it is very bittersweet to leave North Carolina, the place we have called home for the last five years and all the relationships we have built, we are through the roof excited to be back in Colorado!  Not only do we L.O.V.E. Colorado itself (and the diversity and beauty of God's creation there) but we love that we will be closer to most of our family!   :)

Last week I updated that we would not be able to finalize our adoption of baby J until September.  So, that may mean that Jesse moves out to Colorado with minimal things, and baby J and I stay in NC until we finalize and then we move.  Or if we find out that we all can move together, then we may all be moving (1700 miles) across the country in one month!  Either way, I am trying to go thru and cull things before we move. 

Praise!  We already have secured a great place to live in CO!  We'll be renting from some dear, old friends while we save up for a down payment and find a great place to settle down!   I love to see how God has orchestrated this whole.move already!

Prayer Requests:
-For coordination and logistics (and answers!) about the move itself.
-For us to be able to savor time with our friends and Church family here before we head out.
-For a great new pediatrician in Colorado.  (Really going to miss ours here!)
-For wisdom and patience raising this sweet gift we've been given.
-For rest, grace and patience towards each other.
-For the finalization of our adoption.
-For the remainder of the funds needed cover additional fees and attorney fees.
-For our tax refund to come back soon, (update is that we should hopefully have it by the end of this month--which would be nice!) or for another way to pay back the small loan we had to take out to cover the fees since our refund hadn't come back yet.
Thanks for praying with us!  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Joy and sadness.

Little J will be 15 weeks old tomorrow.  It's amazing to see how quickly time has gone by since we've had him.  Today it's been 13 weeks since little J was placed with us.  13 weeks of being parents.  13 weeks of realizing how little we knew about raising a little one.  13 weeks together, learning and growing.  13 weeks of our marriage getting closer, our faith getting stronger and our bonds becoming more unbreakable.  13 weeks of ups and downs.  13 weeks that can never be replaced.  13 weeks of my dream job.  13 weeks of seeing this tiny baby grow into a smiling, cooing, interactive and sweet boy.  Highs and lows.  Joy and sadness.

On Saturday we had a special opportunity come up where we photographed a family as they were preparing for their son to enter hospice care.  I have a hard time coming up with words to describe how hard and wonderful that was.  This family had two young children (5.5 and 21 mos.) and they were preparing to say goodbye forever to their little one, yet wanted some pictures.  Our shoot got cut short because the little guy's O2 stats were getting really low, so we headed out and I found out later that he passed a few hours later that day.  I'm so thankful that we got to take some photos that they can hopefully enjoy for years to come of their little family, but at the same time so saddened by the situation.  If you could pray for this family, that would be awesome.

We went to the drive in the other night and had a great time!  It was little J's first movie, and he actually watched part of it!  (I was surprised he didn't sleep through it all!)  While we had wanted to go an earlier weekend to see the new Jurrasic World movie, we ended up there this past weekend when they were showing Inside Out--the new Disney/Pixar flick.  We were glad that it was a kid friendly movie since Jackson was awake for part of it, and we were also impressed with the depth of the movie.  It was very well done and we really enjoyed it.  It all kind of sums up life though ... without sadness (or sorrow) you can't really have joy.

If Christ hadn't come to earth as a lowly human, lived a sinless life and died on the cross for our sins, then we would never be able to be reunited in our relationship with God.  The Man of Sorrows made our joy complete.

Current Prayer Requests:
-For wisdom and patience raising this sweet gift we've been given.
-For rest, grace and patience towards each other.
-For the finalization of this adoption.  (GA court date set for end of August, hopefully we can finalize in early September!)
-For the remainder of the funds needed cover additional fees and attorney fees. 
-For our tax refund to come back soon, (Been waiting 5 months...praying there is no further complication.) or for another way to pay back the small loan we had to take out to cover the fees since our refund hadn't come back yet.

Thanks for praying with us!  


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Smiles and Tears

Yesterday little J turned 7 weeks old.  When I was talking with my mom the other day, she asked if he had smiled at me yet and I very sadly told her no.  Then during the convo with my Mom, little J started cooing (for the first time!) and then let out a series of big smiles at me!  It was such a sweet moment and my mom got to witness it over the phone, which was special since our family is so far away.

I have such mixed feelings about this little holiday coming up on Sunday.  It's a great idea, but at the same time it brings up a lot of different feelings.  Thankfulness and grief to name a couple.  It has a pretty interesting history, but I found this interesting since I share the last name:  "In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers." (Wikipedia

When I think of Mother's Day, I think of my beloved Mom.  The woman who birthed me and later became my best friend.  I am thankful for her and forever indebted to her for everything she taught me, for listening to me go on about everything a teenage girl does and for listening to my playlist (consisting of one song) on repeat permanently.  (Did finally grow out of that last one!:)  I feel like there is no possible way that I could ever express to her how thankful I am for her and that God chose her as my mom!  But then I also have such mixed feelings of Mother's Day because I really think that we shouldn't just spend one day a year celebrating our Mothers.  When I think of my Mom I am reminded of Proverbs . . .

25 "She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

Proverbs 31:25-31

I also think that Mother's Day, while it is well-meaning is polarizing and hurtful.

I think of the women who so desperately want to be mothers but have been unable to have children.

I think of those women who have lost children, whether they were in utero, 3 days old, 25 years old.

I think of those waiting on children through adoption, maybe they have been matched and maybe not yet.

I think of those single women who long for a family.

I think of those husbands who lost their wives too early.

I think of those birthmothers who placed their children for adoption.  They are mothers and yet, they won't get any sweet scribbles this year.

I think of the mothers who were unable to care for their children...

I think of those who have lost their mothers too early.

I lift those women and families up in prayer this weekend.  May the Lord of Peace be with you as you go through another painful holiday.  


 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 
Phil 4:6-8

...I was one of those women until 5 weeks ago.  Now that I'm on the other side, I can't say all that pain is gone.  Our adoption has yet to be finalized and though I'm trusting God and His plan, I still have some fear that something will happen.  People have said a lot of helpful, and some hurtful, comments along this whole process.  But I think that one of the most thoughtful things someone said came very unexpectedly from my maternal grandmother when I called her on our "Gotcha Day".  She said, "I know you're happy, you've been waiting so long for this moment." (to be a mother)  You know, she was right.  To make a long story short... I still have yet to know if we'll have biological children, but we're planning on having more children.  It's clear that God has His own, perfect timing for things and that meant for me to become a mother just two weeks before my 31st birthday.  One thing is for sure, that I'm confident that I have no idea what the timetable will be and I'm cool with that. (Well, I strive to be!)  I have confidence that I am exactly where God wants me to be, and that is more than enough for me.

But I can't just rely on my feelings, we have to rely on the truth of the gospel.  We were going through a series on the hope at Church in April and there was one week where our Pastor said "the scars which were shame will be glory" which makes me think of all the hurt that those listed above (and others) go through.  We have hope in Christ.  Our pain is only momentary (although it may not seem like it) and it will be glory one day.  I hope that gives you something to hold onto.  Christ didn't die for nothing.  His resurrection was the beginning of the possibility for new life, together with Him forever.  One parting quote from another sermon from our Pastor on hope...

"What you believe about the future determines how you will live in the present."

I also think of those who just had a baby and are worried you're not doing it right. (I'm with you!)  Great read for first time mommies! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bringing the 3rd J home

Well, as you probably know by now...like if you follow us on facebook...that we recently brought baby J home!  Since you're likely interested in more details than that, I got a chance to write and thought I at least owed you that! ;)  Where to begin?  Well, I will start where I basically left off in the last post.

We got a match for a baby boy who was due to be born on March 17th.  While the Drs. and social workers thought that he would be up to two weeks early, they were wrong!  And actually had to induce the birth mother in the morning of March 18th.  Then at 12:44pm she gave birth to the most beautiful, perfect boy.  He weighed in at 7lbs and 9oz and was 20" long.  We saw a picture of him and named him Jackson Levi.  We were advised not to make the journey down to GA until the waiting period (for the birth mother to change her mind) was over, so we waited.

At the time, those 13 days seemed like an eternity.  Little J was in the hospital until the 20th and then went to live in a caring home (foster family).  Thankfully, this foster family was experienced and just as sweet as could be!  God totally knew who we needed to take care of Jackson in our absence and put my heart at ease that Friday night (3/20) when I called the foster mom to check in our sweet boy.  She was friendly, upbeat and caring.  I could just tell that she was a part of God's plan for our little one's life. :)  We called the foster family every other day for those 10 days he was with them, and she posted pictures daily on a special facebook page for us.  Jackson was growing and changing daily, but since we could at least see him and hear about him, it made our attachment strong from the beginning.

On March 30th, Jesse and I headed down to Georgia so we could have a little day date before our Gotcha Day on the 31st.  We saw downtown Savannah and ate at Paula Deen's restaurant! (Amazing!) and saw some other sights in GA.  Then at 9am on March 31st all those days of waiting didn't matter anymore.  It was over.  We held Jackson in our arms and he was ours.  Perfect in every way.  Beautiful.  Strong.  Tiny.  Lovable.  Cute.  And the list goes on.  We were in love.  (still are!)

Here's a video of our Gotcha Day:




So, then while we waited for the okay to head back to NC, we were very fortunate to be able to stay with my Mom's cousin Don.  He was so hospitable and just helpful for those 12 days we stayed with him.  He provided much more than just shelter (and more than the huge savings from hotels for those 12 days).  He helped us with meals, he gave us company, he shared his house, his kitchen, his life with us and during such a delicate and important time we are forever grateful  What a blessing he is.  Jesse finally got to meet him, and just like my Mom and I thought--they hit it off!

We were in GA so long that my parents, who already had a trip long planned to visit my sister in KY and us in NC in their RV for Early April, met up with us in GA for a few days.  It was nice for them to visit with Don and for Jackson to have more family around.  Then we got the okay to leave on a Friday afternoon, and we headed back up to NC on Saturday morning the 11th of April and my parents followed.  While I thought my parents would stick with their original plan of leaving right around my birthday (4/15) they didn't.  They actually extended their stay by us until the 19th!  What another huge blessing that was, for them to help us settle back into our lives as a family of three at home.  They helped us unpack, put things away, move the piano (yet again!) and rearrange our house.  They also gave us some much needed rest as parents of a newborn.  :)

Little J took all of his travels and everything in stride.  He's a great traveler, and very laid back (most of the time!)  He slept a lot during the day and just now is possibly getting his days and nights less confused.  He truly is a joy and I can hardly remember our lives without him in them.  We've prayed for this sweet boy for so long, and now that he's here it's great!  Our little family is complete.  For now at least!  ;)

Big J went back to work on the Friday while my parents were still here to help ease into it.  Then he worked half days on Monday and Tuesday of this week when I was by myself.  Can I just say that I now realize that this whole parenting thing, or being a mom thing, or stay home with your child thing, is. not. for. the. faint. of. heart.  Don't get me wrong, it's totally worth it, and I'm loving it.  But it is not without its perils.  Like J started this screaming thing this week, and after talking with my mom, sisters and the Dr. we're pretty sure it's gas and hopefully will get better this weekend with the remedies the Dr. gave me.  Otherwise I will head back to the Dr. next week.  Anyway, Mommas out there, or Dads too, I get it.  I know I haven't done this as long as you, or have done half as much as you have, but I get it.  It's hard.  It's tough work.  But we are the ones who have been bestowed this great honor of raising children!  What a blessing.  What a joy.  Anyway, you're doing a great job.

What I didn't mention yet, is that when we drove up to our place when we got home we saw a decorated door and then lots of balloons inside welcoming little J home.  Our sweet friends from Church did that all, and stocked our fridge with breakfast, lunch and dinner that were all ready to heat and eat!  SOOO sweet.  Then there's actually been a meal train from church going on, which can I say, is probably the most helpful one can do for a family welcoming a new little one into their life?!?!  Not having to worry about dinner has been a welcome treat!  Thank you, thank you.

J got us all tickets to the Durham Bulls Season Opener for my birthday.  Unfortunately it was a rainy night and the game got postponed 2.5 hours...so we didn't end up staying for the whole thing, but we still had a great time!  Part of the reason he got the tickets is because my parents had never been to one of their games, we love the Bulls and also because 4/15 is the day of the year that MLB and Milb celebrate Jackie Robinson by wearing his retired #42 jersey.  And, for those of you who may not know, Jackie Robinson is part of J's namesake.  I've always loved baseball, and have collected cards and been pretty obsessed with it since I was a little girl.  I hope that little J knows that the sky is the limit as to his potential. :) 

We of course want to raise him to love and serve God, and one day have a relationship with Christ who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.  Until then, we will do our best to raise him with the help of our family, friends and church family.

Closing remarks before pics below....  Thank you for every prayer, thought and word of encouragement over the past few days, weeks and months.  We appreciate them all more than you know.  I am a little behind in thank yous, and for that I apologize.  Hopefully you'll have one coming your way soon, but if for some reason I miss one please know we are thankful.  We thank God for each and every one of you.  Prayer requests at the bottom.

Here's some pics:
Sign I just made yesterday for his room.
 Got this chalkboard/chalk up last night...not sure how happy I am with what I drew...but I like it better than the naked pics I painted on the wall....and if you look closely, you'll see the quilt that my mom made for Jackson is laying on the crib (he's not sleeping in it yet!) and it matches those things on the wall.  Love the quilt.  It's amazing, just like my Mom!  :)
 Random pic of the clothesline for our cloth diapering.  Enjoying it a TON so far!  Less chemicals, happier skin and better for the environment?  Yes please!  (Also more work of course...:) 
 Weir angle of pic, but this is probably Jackson's favorite place to be.  :)  And that is a-okay with me, love him!  Never knew I could love someone, so much!
 Not sure why it's out of order....but this is Jackson at 14 days old.
 One month!  Big boy!
 Happy Boy!  
 Quick usie at the Duke Gardens with my little fam and my parents before they left.  It was so nice to spend time with them.  So miss them.  Wish we lived closer!

Prayer Requests:
-For wisdom and patience raising this sweet gift we've been given.
-For rest, grace and patience towards each other.
-For the finalization of this adoption.
-For the remainder of the funds needed.  We are still saving and probably going to try to raise the remaining funds needed to cover additional fees and attorney fees. 
-For our tax refund to come back soon.  (Been waiting over 2.5 months...praying there is no further complication.) or for another way to pay back the small loan we had to take out to cover the fees since our refund hadn't come back yet.
-

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

News

I'm not entirely sure how to start this post.  It's hard to write yet at the gentle nudging of some of my closest family we've decided to let you all in on the most recent news of our lives and adoption journey.

You may remember back when I wrote last, I asked for prayer on something.  That was actually for a job interview that Jesse was waiting to hear back from.  Well, thank you for the prayers.  We definitely felt them, and as we prayed we asked for a clear "yes" or "no".  We got the answer on Monday evening, and it was a no.  So, as with any answer there has been some bittersweet moments.  We are thankful for a clear answer, and the peace that comes with that though.  It's also just nice to know that (unless something wild happens) we'll be in NC for another year.  :)

We also have some exciting news on the adoption front!  The night that I wrote that last post I had also written our caseworker for our Adoption Agency just to see how things were going.  The next day she wrote me and said that she was going to call me that afternoon.  Being the realist (or pessimist at times...) that I am, I assumed the worst.  You know, I thought that something had come up and we weren't on the active list or something....BUT to my surprise when she called she didn't say that.  This is how the conversation went.

"Juli, are you sitting down?"
"Yes." (still feeling unsettled.)
"I need you to guard your heart."
"ok" (confused but getting excited.)
"A birth mother has chosen you and Jesse, and the baby boy is due March 17th!"
I can't really remember the rest of the conversation but I made a phone call to Jesse to talk and then to the birth mother's caseworker before accepting the match.  Since this isn't the birth mother's first child they were confident that he would be early, as early as two weeks early.  But seeing as I'm still at home writing this, you can tell he hasn't made his appearance quite yet.  ;)

There are so many emotions that have been rushing through our hearts and minds these last couple of weeks.  (We were matched on 2/25)  Lots of excitement.  Lots of what ifs.  Lots of preparations.  Lots of baby gear.  Lots of prayers.  Lots of sweet moments soaking up our last few days as a family of two.  Lots of outpouring of love from our family, friends and church family.  Lots of grace extended from our employers and the fact that we will get the call to leave at any moment.  

There are a lot of unknowns, and that's part of why we hadn't shared this news yet.  The birth mother has 10 days to change her mind after the baby is born.  So, at this point it isn't a for sure yet.  Nothing is definite.  We could opt to stay here until those 10 days are up, but we don't want to possibly miss a day of our baby's life.  So we are going to go down as soon as we get the call, pick up our baby and love on him as long as the Lord allows.  It's a risk, but either this baby is meant to be ours or we will meet a special little guy who we will know only for a few days before returning him to his birth mother.  Either way, we're confident that God has this all under control and in His plan.  But of course, we're hoping this child is ours.

We're very excited, yet guarded still.  We can't wait to become parents to the child God has for us.  You're probably wondering about names.  Well, we have two in mind but want to see him first before we name him--in case he doesn't look like _________________. :)  



One of the girls I work with gave this to us for Christmas and I just love seeing it.  (It's currently in our living room, but will soon be in the nursery that is shaping up nicely!)



Thanks for praying with us and coming along side us on this up and down journey of our adoption and life!  We love you!  The next time we update, we just may be parents!  :)


Prayer requests for:
-The Birth Mother.
-The baby.
-The caseworkers at Open Door.
-Our hearts.
-Our marriage to grow closer to God and each other.
-Others we come into contact with, throughout this process.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Finished Puzzle

 Thankful to have a hubby who likes putting puzzles together...because as it turns out...I apparently don't.  :)
Finished and ready for glue!
Dried and now framed.  You can see all the names of the sweet people who helped bring our baby home.  We will treasure this for years to come.  Thank you!!
Ready for baby's room. Love this.  For more info on this puzzle click here:  Puzzle Fundraiser!



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reflecting on what the future holds

I'm sorry I haven't updated in so long.  The truth is, that there isn't much to update.  We've been in the Active Pool for just over a month.  We have our online profile up and running too.  Other than that, it's just a waiting game at this point.  

There is another pretty big thing in our life that's up in the air right now, but I'm not quite ready to share what that is on here.  If you could just have that in your prayers too, we'd appreciate it.  It also has to do with our future.  (as most things do:)

I don't have an exact number (I don't ever seem to when I update on here! whoops!) but we are getting much closer to our total fundraising goal for our Adoption Expenses!  Thank you for supporting us, giving generously and praying for us along this journey!

We're encouraged that we are not going at this alone!  We have a mighty God, and wonderful family and friends around us!  You know what they say, "it takes a village" to raise a child.  I can see why.  (I realize our situation is a little different than most though....)

We were encouraged to learn that some friends just recently got to bring their children home from Africa, who they'd been matched with for over 2 years but were unable to bring home till now.  Praise the Lord that they are united in their forever family!


Thanks for reading along, supporting, standing beside, sharing life and praying with us!  We couldn't be more thrilled that we are  getting one step closer to bringing Baby Wilson home!!!

Current Prayer Requests:
-Continued support in saving and raising the remaining money.
-Wisdom for the future.
-That we continue to grow closer to God and each other through this process.
-For the Birthmother and her baby.
-For all the caseworkers we are/will work with at our agency.
-Patience in the waiting....

Thankful for you,
Juli and Jesse

Monday, January 26, 2015

We're active!

As you probably already know by this point, we got our Approved Home study back last week!  Then our Adoption Agency received our commitment check (for $2500) and also our home study and we were put on the Active List!!!!!!!  So, the wait has really truly arrived.  It's hard to believe that we could get the call anytime.  Like tomorrow, or next month, or 6 months from now and so on.  Once again, we are SO thankful for each of you and your prayers and support.  We are also once again made very aware of the fact that we are not in control, but we serve the Almighty God who is.  :)

I don't have an exact number for where we are with our fundraising right now....but it is somewhere around $23,000 of the $30,000 needed.  So Praise the Lord we are getting closer each week!!!!  We are applying for several grants/loans this week (since we now have our home study) and we are thinking about doing another pretty big fundraiser.  (We're thinking a dinner...but then we would have to come up with a location, people to help, etc.....Advice or volunteers speak up please! :)


Thanks for reading along, supporting, standing beside, sharing life and praying with us!  We couldn't be more thrilled that we are  getting one step closer to bringing Baby Wilson home!!!

Current Prayer Requests:
-Continued support in saving and raising the remaining $7,000.
-Wisdom as to which grants, loans, etc. to apply for.
-That we continue to grow closer to God and each other through this process.
-For the Birthmother and her baby.
-For all the caseworkers we are/will work with at our agency.
-Patience in the waiting....

Thankful for you,
Juli and Jesse

Monday, January 12, 2015

Almost active!

It's a bit belated but Happy New Year!  We had the privilege of driving up to Kentucky to visit my sister and her family over the New Year and we had a great time.  It takes about 9 hours (of driving time, not including gas or food stops) but is totally worth it, because there is really nothing like spending time with family.  We were thankful for nice weather for the drive, and relatively light traffic each direction too.  While we were there we enjoyed the company of my sister, her hubby and their 4 sweet children.  It's always fun to spend time with our nieces and nephews and just watch them learn and grow.  It was bittersweet when it came time to leave...

It was great to see my sis and catch up.  And she was super generous in giving a lot of baby gear!  They gave us their gently used Swing, Bouncy Seat, and Playmat. (or whatever those are really called...I put a few pics below...) They also gave us a few other things including a practically brand new (literally only a year old) car seat!  Praise the Lord!  What another answered prayer!!  Now we are truly ready to load up and then jump in the car to go to GA to get our little one once we get the call!!!  Makes it all the more real!!!!  So thankful!

Same swing, different pattern than ours.
Cute and it matches our theme!
Isn't it fun that it matches our animal theme too?
We did get the word that our lifebook was approved (actually the very next morning after I wrote this post), so we could take advantage of the 40% off and free shipping on shutterfly!  Another answered prayer!  In fact, we already received our copy and I just spoke with our Agency and they got all 25 of theirs too.  Our caseworker was so sweet, because she said when she read our letter (to the expectant parents) that it was so sweet it brought a tear to her eye.  Well, we were ourselves, putting our hearts out there being transparent.  

We got the draft of our Homestudy over the weekend and it looked great!  There were just a couple of minor corrections to be made and we'll offically be able to be in the Active Pool!!!!!  Also, once we have our homestudy we can apply for those grants, etc. that we have been waiting to apply for!  PTL!  It's getting closer!!!

Thanks for reading along, supporting, standing beside, sharing life and praying with us during this crazy at times and exciting at times journey of ours!  We couldn't be more thrilled that we are moving right along and getting one step closer to bringing Baby Wilson home!!!

Current Prayer Requests:
-For our Homestudy to be completed.
-Continued support in saving and raising the remaining $9,000.
-Wisdom as to which grants, loans, etc. to apply for.
-That we continue to grow closer to God and each other through this process.
-For the Birthmother and her baby.
-For all the caseworkers we are/will worth with at our agency.
-Patience in the waiting....

Thankful for you,
Juli