Happy 4th Birthday Trip!

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Today hurts…. I’ve been contemplating why it hurts so much for the past few hours and it suddenly hit. It’s Trip’s birthday and I’m not at home. The tears are pouring down my face as I write this out. I remember the day of his birth like it was yesterday. I had no idea that morning that this boy would capture my heart so swiftly and with such passion. He made a very fast entrance; just 45 minutes from start to finish. I can nearly count each contraction of my labor. I was certain that day that there had never been such a beautiful baby boy, none quite as perfect.

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Yesterday I was able to Skype with Trip for 30 minutes… it was almost like he and I were in the same room together, after 3 weeks apart. He said he wanted to “punch into the computer” so he could be with me and he told me he’s saving kisses for me. He described the train track he drew on paper for his Thomas train and told me what he was eating for lunch, an apple and left-over macaroni and cheese cupcakes.

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Sweet boy, mommy is so proud of the big boy you are becoming. You are kind, sensitive and funny. You keep mommy laughing and you’re quick to notice when mommy is sad. I’m sure at this moment you’d climb on my lap and say, “You sad, mommy?” and then wipe the tears followed by a big kiss on my cheek. I wish I were home to sing “Happy Birthday To You” at least a dozen times because you love the attention. I’d draw you pictures of penguins & unicorns, and then we’d eat cupcakes and noodles and I’d wrap you up in my arms at 10:21 am, the moment you arrived. I love you…. I miss you desperately and can’t wait to see you very soon.

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One Year

One year ago yesterday, March 13, 2012, we woke up in Ug*nda as a family of four knowing that in a couple hours we would be headed to get our daughter and sister, Roseline. From our side of things we were thrilled. We couldn’t wait to hold her, kiss her & love her. I wish I had stopped then to think of her grieving heart. It honestly didn’t cross my mind. I wish I had realized that her world was about to be shattered. When we arrived one of her caregivers was holding her. I couldn’t wait to get her in my arms. You know all those videos of the sweet kids in their new mommies arms? Ha! Here’s what it really looks like. A child absolutely TERRIFIED of you.

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Our sweet Rosie girl shut down that day. If she’d been fun and lively in the baby home we wouldn’t have known it. All we saw was a listless child. If you put her head to your chest she didn’t move; when you picked her up she was flaccid. She was heart-broken. I can’t imagine the deep grief she was experiencing. We held her, we loved her and we tried our best to help her process, but it was hard. One way her grief came out was anger. She would rage. It’s difficult to describe. She would look at you with absolutely zero recognition, even weeks and months after we’d been together and she would hit, scream in terror and fear. It didn’t matter what we did to console her nothing would calm her hurting heart. To say this was difficult for John and I would be an understatement.

You so rarely hear people talk about the first few days, weeks, and months as an adoptive parent. It’s because it’s hard. I personally felt like I was drowning. I knew we were walking the journey God called us to, but didn’t feel ready or able to share how hard it was for me. I felt like I had an image of, “I’ve got this under control” to maintain and I honestly thought that no one really wanted to know the truth. The last year broke me; the last year taught me to be honest about who I am and about my struggles and pain. It taught me that if someone didn’t want my openness then they weren’t someone to hold close. If anything it has prepared me for what is about to come. I know that we have begun another difficult transition, but I feel more prepared. I feel ready to admit that I can’t do it on my own, ready to say that this is really hard and ready to accept help. I have formed some fantastic relationships in the last year and rekindled some “old” ones. I have “those people” that I can pick up the phone and call and say, “COME QUICK, I’M DROWNING!” I didn’t have that last year. God has provided what I didn’t know I needed last year.

Thank you for your continued prayers as our family is half & half. It’s hard having half our family at home and half of us here. I think the hardest part is the unknown timeline. If I knew I was going to be home in , say, three week  I could begin a countdown, but I don’t know that. It could be two weeks, it could be five. That’s hard.  Thank you for holding us up and for your support.  If you’d like to read more about supporting adoptive families check out this great post by my friend, Ashlee.

Today is the day to shop!

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Today is an exciting day. Kanga-Care, the company behind the award winning Rump-a-rooz cloth diapers, is donating 50% of their sales today to our adoption! So amazing! I thought I’d compile a list of non-cloth diaper items that they have that I love or that would be great to have.

Re-Play Cups.aspThe first are these awesome bowls, divided plates, utensils & spill-proof cups for kids made from recycled materials.

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Next up, natural dryer balls: I have seen these on visits to Kanga-care and have really wanted to try them! Start with 4 balls added to your dryer and add more as needed to reduce drying time in your laundry, how cool! They come in fun colors and a couple scents as well.

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Kanga Care Wet Bags are one of my most favorite items from this company. I love their cloth diapers, but these bags are amazing. I use them in the summer for wet swimming suits. I use them on long flights for dirty diapers or wet clothes. I use them for their intended purpose of housing dirty cloth diapers too. These are fantastic to have around. And they come in some great colors and prints.

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Another handy item is the reusable snack bags. I’m sure you’re like me and you get tired of all the disposable zipper baggies for snacks. Give these a try instead!

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If I had little bitties right now I’d be snatching these blankets up. The Aden + Anais muslin swaddling blankets are so soft and perfect for swaddling up the little’s. And they’re on sale!

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Need an extra changing pad? An emergency car seat protector? Here’s the one for you. It’s the Kanga Care changing pad made out of soft microfiber and waterproof TPU.

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And my all time favorite Kanga-Care product is the award winning Rumparooz cloth diaper with snaps. I LOVE these! If you have questions about cloth diapering, please feel free to ask. I am more than happy to share our experience with these diapers and saving money.

Humbled and Vulnerable

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Two-years ago when we began our adoption journey John felt that we were to give away everything we had saved, to allow God space to perform a miracle in our lives. Tonight we look back over the last two years and that is exactly what has happened. Though we gave everything away in a different way than John originally pictured, we sit here this evening with nothing left to sell, nothing left in the savings account and a call from God that requires a rather large sum of money in a short amount of time. We know we cannot do this on our own; we must give up our prideful nature and let God work.

After announcing our plans on Monday night, today was an interesting range of emotions. This morning John and I woke up tense, perhaps a little angry. We were both feeling the stress of financial burdens. At about 8:30 John called, after dropping our oldest off at school, to say he received a phone call. The call was from a friend who will never know how much of an encouragement he was. We know it was no accident that the call came in when it did. Our spirits were lifted.

Tonight we sit together, profoundly humbled and deeply impacted by the gifts and generosity of our friends. We feel vulnerable and we know that is where God wants us to be. This is the space he can work in.

As of this writing we are $2,100 closer; God is so very good! We are confident that the reaming $12,000 needed to cover remaining agency fees and travel will be provided.

In case you missed it I posted a video of Roseline’s story that you may want to check it. It’s a brief glimpse into how God has guided in our lives in the last two years.