The Mattos Family Has Been Blessed…

I have dreamed about writing this post since I started this blog, we finally have all of the answers we have been searching for, for over two years. The Lord has answered our prayers and taught us of his faithfulness. He’s taught me patience, peace and unending love.

Please welcome, Remy Evelyn – Born 10/9/17, 6lb 13oz

View More: http://monicagracephotography.pass.us/remy-mattos

I want to make sure I share some very important details about this story, because the hand of God is all over this story and I want this to reflect his glory! Here is a timeline of how everything went down with all the details I can share at this moment. A lot of this story is Remy’s to share and I do not want to share it without her permission so please respect our privacy if some “important” details are missing.

Let’s start four years ago…(yes, the story goes back that far!)

2013 – I was working at the Florida Hospital for Children holding newborn infants in the newborn ICU. I learned all about the machines that help monitor the babies, sounds they make, the way they act. I loved this volunteer position and I LOVED BABIES. Which lead to me quitting baby cuddling when Daniel and I decided to start trying for our own baby (we all know how that went! lol)

2015- 2016 – One of the worst periods of my life. Month after month of negative pregnancy tests, stress, other people getting pregnant. I felt defeated. Then doctor visits, bad test results and a decision.

October 2016 – We started the process with Bethany Christian Services which we have a link to through a family friend who placed her daughter for adoption through the agency. We did some research and Bethany kept coming up so we went for it!

Also around this time, I confide in a coworker about how Daniel and I have had trouble conceiving, she tells me she has a “feeling” it’s going to happen in January and that’s when I’ll get pregnant. I laugh nervously, not wanting to make her sad by telling her we’re abandoning our baby making plans for baby finding ones.

FAST FORWARD…..Because I’m pretty sure I wrote a blog post about this whole process…at this point we had been “in the wait” for about 4 months.

End of September 2017 – I get a text from my grandma “Hey Sweetie, they did a sermon on adoption at Church today! I think you’d love it!”

The following Sunday – I get a text from one of my best friends “Hey! They did a sermon at Church today on adoption! I think you would love it”

OK – weird, but we had been waiting over 4 months at this point and I was determined not to get my hopes up (I had thought I received “signs” many times before) and then have them dashed.

First week of October – I wake up to walk my dogs (sadly, this is a rare occasion because we have a fenced back yard) but that morning I had woken up early and thought they needed it! I didn’t get but 20 feet out the door when a young girl (14-17) approaches me. She’s wearing a Boone High School shirt and no backpack and asks me how far Boone High School is from there. I tell her it’s a considerable walk, but a fairly short drive. At this point because of the lack of backpack, I’m nervous, I look around to make sure this isn’t a trap but she seems to be alone. Then, I start worrying about her, what’s going on that she’s out here alone, is she running from someone? I tell her I can take her to school if she needs me to and even though she feels bad, she lets me.

We get in the car and I’ll transcribe our conversation (not in it’s entirety) below –

Me: “Is everything OK?”

Girl: “No” (me internally freaking out)

Me: “How can I help you, what’s going on?”

Girl: “I just got in a fight with my mom”

Me: “A normal mom fight? I used to get in those with my mom all the time when I was in high school!” ha ha

Girl: “Well, I’m adopted” (again, FREAKING OUT)

Me (trying to play it real cool): “Well that’s actually kind of funny, my husband and I are going through the process of adopting right now”

Her eyes then get as wide as saucers and she starts freaking out about how amazing this new development is. Then, she asks if she can give me some advice, I say sure.

Girl: “All kids who are adopted are going to feel like they are unwanted, all I want is for my mom to understand that but she never listens to me or the way that I’m feeling” (something deep down in the pit of my stomach tells me I need to store this away for future reference).

We then talk a little more about things here and there and she says:

“Oh my gosh, I’m so rude, my name is Lily” (YA’LL THAT HAS BEEN THE NAME I’VE WANTED TO NAME MY DAUGHTER SINCE I CAN REMEMBER). Again, playing it cool, I tell her this and she freaks out again. What are the chances, we say to each other. I drop her off at school, after she promises to call her mom when she get inside, and we part ways. I cry the entire ride home because this whole situation felt like a huge sign. A big nudge from God that he hasn’t forgotten about me yet oh and by the way he can do ANYTHING thank you very much.

A couple days later – Daniel never remembers any of his dreams, it’s always a huge disappointment for me because I always remember mine. The very few times he has remembered them, he’s felt like they were signs from God. So of course I start freaking out when he causally mentions “I had a dream a few nights ago, I was holding a little baby girl and her face was so round and perfect, like a Gerber baby!” Again, weird but I’m just trying to play it cool here.

Monday, October 9th – We didn’t know this story until we were ultimately chosen, but the agency had a few placements fall through the weeks leading up to our placement. During their Monday morning meeting during a group prayer, the woman who ended up meeting us at the hospital two days later, prayed aloud for God to provide a family who was in need of an immediate adoption. Maybe the baby was already born? Maybe mom was ready to sign papers? And the next day…THE NEXT DAY…her prayers were answered.

Tuesday, October 10th –  We get an email. Urgent need – mom is looking to select a family tomorrow (ahhhhh!) as she’s being discharged then. Baby girl (OMG!) has already been born and will have to stay in the NICU (whaaa??) for a while due to her complications. Please let us know if you’d like your book shown.

Let me give you some background into why all of this is amazing:

  1.  Daniel and I had secretly (but not really secretly) hoped for a baby girl, we told the agency it didn’t matter because honestly it didn’t, we just had our little secret hope.
  2. Daniel and I had also talked to each other about how we would rather have a “stork drop” where the baby is already born. That way, we can avoid all of the waiting and wondering if birth mom was going to go forward with the adoption. Daniel would always tell me “it won’t happen that way, it never happens!”

Then, a text from our social worker “Check your email.” We already are!!! I text back. Lots of conversations, discussions about her situation, can we handle it? We decide to sleep on it to make sure neither of us feels like this is a bad idea.

Obviously, I can’t sleep so I text my friend Ashley to tell her about what was going on (we didn’t share too much with too many people when it happened). I tell her around 9:30pm we got an email and she stops me. “Stefanie, I had my bible study group pray for you and Daniel tonight (mind you, she had no idea at the time) and it was around 9:30pm, right before we left.” I was in awe, more signs that God was leading us on the right path and we were following right along.

Wednesday, October 11th – We wake up and decide, we can do this. So we send the email around 8am. Then, we wait. I don’t eat. I pray.

At around 12:40 finally I get a call from our social worker. I walk into an empty room to take the call and she patches in another member from the team. Great, I think to myself, they probably have to have multiple people on the phone when they tell you the bad news. But, they didn’t. They tell me that I have to leave work right away and drive down to meet our DAUGHTER! I start crying and shaking and just in shock over what just happened. Then, I walk out and tell my office that I have a daughter and I have to leave immediately. More crying. My coworkers have been on this journey with us for so long, as so many people have, and having that moment with them was amazing!!

On the way home I finally get a hold of Daniel and say “Are you busy? Do you want to go meet our daughter??” I kid you not, his first words were “oh crap.” hahahaha! What an overwhelming and exciting 12 hours, poor guy!

After packing up all we can think of in about 30 minutes and running a couple errands we started the drive down to the hospital. The drive took a little over 3 hours and the entire way we called friends and family and laughed and dreamed about what the future would hold for us and our daughter.

Then, we were at the hospital and they were walking us into the Special Care Unit. There she was, laying in her bed, snuggly as can be. VERY OBVIOUS BLONDE HAIR! 🙂 and the sweetest little face. We were enamored. When they placed her in Daniel’s arms I will never forget his face when he looked up at me and said “she’s perfect, she’s the baby from my dream!” Ya’ll if that isn’t a perfect beginning to a father daughter relationship, I don’t know what is.

Unfortunately, shortly after meeting her we discover the extent of her sickness and that she will most likely have to be in the hospital between 3 – 5 weeks. We had NO PLAN, nowhere to stay and  that’s when God steps in and says “hang tight guys, I’ve got this.” Seriously, now he’s just showing off!

We get a text from a friend who says her parents live right where we are! They have a guest room that they would love to open up to us so we head over there and these people opened up their home to us, complete strangers, with huge wonderful open arms. There is no way I can ever put into words how much that meant to us. To have a place to stay and rest and not have to worry about spending money on a hotel – just amazing. Although it is impossible not to feel like you’re stepping on people’s lives and we felt so bad for the strange hours we had to keep and how they had to make them share their home with us. And just like that, I get a text from another best friend, Bailey. Her mother’s best friend has a condo not too far from where we are and they JUST LEFT to spend a few months with family out of the country. They offered us their entire condo as if we were family. Just, in awe.

So currently we are here at the hospital and should be home with our baby in the next couple of weeks. She just needs some time to grow and be monitored while she recovers. Would you please pray for her in this time of need, that she will grow to be big and strong and nothing that is happening now will stunt her in the future? Also, please pray for her first parents. The ones who made the ultimate sacrifice for us and for the well-being of their baby girl. I want them to know how very much we love this little sweetness and just how much we commend their selflessness.

Also, remember that little tidbit at the beginning about my coworker telling me I would get pregnant in January. If you do the math, guess when our baby girl was conceived. What an AMAZING GOD WE SERVE.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

First to our heavenly Father for his plan and provisions. We are in awe.

To every single person who made this adoption process the most amazing thing we’ve ever been through. To the people who texted and called when we needed it the most. To the people who donated money or time or baby clothes (we were able to make the final payment on the adoption and be DEBT FREE). To every single person praying for our sweet family and this baby girl who was destined to be ours. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. Please be sure to find me on Facebook in case momm-ing makes it hard to update this blog!

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy.” – Proverbs 13: 12

Month 3: The Reality

Hello friends!

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written here about the insane roller coaster that month two was for us. I wish I could say it’s been smooth sailing but for anyone who has gone through, or is going through this process, that just isn’t ever going to be the case! I have had the realization this past month that until the Lord decides it’s time, this is our reality. This is how our life is going to be until it’s completely turned upside down (in a wonderful way!) Instead of focusing on how mundane that sounds, I’m trying daily to relax in this new normal and trust in the timing that I know God has already laid out.

New developments on our side have been related to learning about new cases that the agency is working with. They told us originally that we could reach out if we wanted to, to know if our book was shown or not. We decided that would be a little too nerve-wracking to know about so we politely declined and never called or emailed the agency asking.

Then, we started getting “situations to consider.” These are special emails that are sent out about situations that might be a little more difficult to accept as the adoptive parents. I won’t give you specifics but as an example maybe the expectant mother wants to name the baby, or maybe she has a severe drug addiction. Maybe the dad is incarcerated or maybe he is just absent for an unknown reason. These emails were difficult to read, to think about the pain and struggle these women have been through and are currently wrestling with made my head spin. My pain is tough and it sucks but hearing these stories gave me new perspective to the pain. I found myself praying for them and dreaming about the wonderful life these babies would have with their adoptive parents and first parents. Praying for restoration for these mothers and fathers that were walking through a personal hell with no end in sight. And these emails gave me hope. Hope that one day one of those emails would turn into our baby and we would get to share in the grace and love that comes along with it.

Most of all, those emails kept me connected.

And it turns out, other people feel that way too! So the agency will now send out emails for every single situation and we’ll get to share in the joy and anticipation of each of these new families! Plus, we’ll get to know every time our book has been shown on a case.

Which leads me to the point of all of this which is, our book has actually been shown! Only one time and inevitably not chosen, but shown! Someone got to take a peek into our lives, if only for a fleeting moment. I thought I would be disappointed by this news but it makes me all the more excited. We’re just one step closer to bringing our baby home and that is the best news of all!

So, as we venture into month four of “the wait” my challenge has been trust and patience, kind of the entire theme here. This situation is completely out of my control. I will not be the one choosing my baby, the Lord has already done that and I need to just be patient. Nothing I do is going to make it happen sooner or later, I just need to stay the course.

So that’s what I promise to do this next month. Daniel and I have planned a quick little getaway at the end of September and so I can look forward to that wonderful time spent with my husband before a little baby might also be part of the picture.

Thank you all for your continuous prayers, support and love. It has really been one of the best parts of this journey!

Month 2: The roller coaster

Here we are, two months into “the wait” and by far the worst month of the whole entire process, but also the best? I am going to get real here, so if you don’t want to read on, I would stop right here. This month was a roller coaster of emotion and we hit every single high and low you can imagine.

I started off the month great! You all could probably guess that based on the incredibly up-beat and informative post I wrote last month. I was so excited to take care of myself, my house, my marriage and focus on ME ME ME before I have to devote myself to another human being. It all started off very positive.

Then I lost steam, I was lazy, I didn’t eat right. Everyone would ask how I was doing and I would honestly tell them “I really have no motivation to do anything.”

And then one day I honestly could not tell you what triggered it (besides the devil, I know he did!) I had a self-pity rager, party of 1. All those days of feeling unmotivated and blah just piled up. I had the most negative thoughts about myself, our business, the wait. I had built up this idea in my mind that we were so desirable as parents there was no way we were going to wait even two weeks to get matched! But here I was a month in, knowing nothing and feeling like a failure. I sat on my couch watching fixer upper (duh) sobbing to myself about why I wasn’t good enough to be a mom yet. Why wasn’t God letting it be my turn. Consider your lowest low, I was there. I ate some ice cream, cried myself to sleep while poor Daniel tried to console me. I dragged by lame butt out of bed for work the next morning.

As I was sitting at my desk at a moment of pause, I started scrolling through my Instagram feed. Baby, pregnancy photo, baby, baby, baby announcement…I was about to shut the app down when I scrolled up to a photo from the Instagram account “She Reads Truth.” They have a website and an app and honestly I just saw Thomas Rhett’s wife post something about them one day  a few months ago so I gave them a follow. The post read:

“When we allow negative thinking to take up residence in our minds, our thoughts will become an obstacle to our obedience. Pessimistic thinking – whether about our life, our self-worth or our abilities – will always stand in the way of following God’s call in our life.

Intentionally choosing to put aside negative thoughts about ourselves or assignments God gives us empowers us to stand strong when the enemy tries to thwart our efforts.

When our thoughts are positive, our hearts will be too, and obedience will more naturally flow.” – Tracie Miles

I am so happy my desk faces a wall because ya’ll I was ugly crying. Why in the world would I sit here and think about my life in any negative light? I have an amazing husband and beautiful home, jobs that provide for us, pups that snuggle with us, family, friends and everything I would ever need. But I don’t have ONE THING that I feel like I should already have, so I start making my entire life miserable because of it? I shut God out and complain to him like a child that doesn’t get what they want at the grocery store. What is wrong with me???

Well first answer is, I’m human, living in a fallen world. Of course my human nature is going to take over sometimes and lead me astray. But the fact that I let this take over my life to the point where I felt like I could not function just doesn’t make sense. So I took a little screen shot of that passage and I read it over and over again until I believed every word and promised myself for the rest of this journey I would not be pessimistic about where we are in life or in this adoption journey. I promised to keep my mind and heart open to God and be obedient to his calling.

Fast forward a couple weeks later, I was trying guys, I really felt like I was but the devil is an evil dude. More self-doubt, more pregnancy announcements, more self-hatred and confusion.

Then, because the Lord has major patience with me, our entire sermon at church was about trying to control our plans. Not lifting our hearts and ideas and dreams up to God and letting him take the reigns, no that would be too easy! We sit here and plan our lives exactly the way we think they should be and we get so darn angry when it doesn’t pan out that way. Why do we even try to control it when his plans are so much greater than our own? Well again, because we’re humans and we can’t fathom eternity so we sit here on earth and try to make it “perfect” and if it doesn’t lead to exactly what we want we get mad at God. When in reality his perfect is the real perfect and our ideas are just our silly brains trying to complete some puzzle and we don’t even know what the picture of the puzzle even looks like!

That was it – I couldn’t ignore God’s calling twice. So I stopped negative thinking and I focused on listening, praying and making myself a better person. A very good friend texted me not long after with a text that said:

“So while praying this morning getting ready for work I started praying for you and Daniel. I was basically interrupted by God telling me to tell you this:

Find beauty in the wait.”

Again – desk faces wall, we’re good. That was my way of hearing God promise me that he has better things in store for me and that I need to find beauty in his timing and his promises. So that’s what I did. And GUESS WHAT. HE TOLD ME SOMETHING. All I had to do was shut my mouth!

I don’t know if this is a huge announcement since I’m not sure where it will lead but one day out of the blue I thought about the idea that if a mom was placing a baby for adoption, maybe she had an older child she’d like to place as well. Daniel had always expressed his interest in adopting a 1 – 3 year old and I was always hesitant. I wanted a baby! But what if, there was a way we could both get what we wanted. It literally popped into my head one day and then popped out. I didn’t think much of it.

Then, a few days later we were at Daniel’s parents house and his mom, Claudia randomly asked “Hey, if the mother that chooses you has another child, would you be open to adopting them too?” I almost dropped the plate I was holding and asked her why she would even say that. She said it just came to her mind and she wondered. OK, weird.

So just last week I couldn’t get that situation out of my head but I didn’t know if it was because I am a little obsessive compulsive or if this was really something God wanted for us.

On the way to work I turned off the radio and in my car was just pleading with God. How will I know? This might be expensive! Where would we even put two kids? Is this really what you want? If you do, tell me!

In that instant I got a text from Claudia with a single purple heart (her sign that she’s saying a quick prayer for us and wants us to know). I lost it, I called her immediately and told her the story. We both agreed this was no coincidence and that I needed to inform the adoption agency. I talked it over with Daniel, he agreed that although scary, we could make it work if God wanted this to be our story.

So we did. We emailed the adoption agency on Thursday to tell them we’re open to a new situation and haven’t heard back yet. Would you please join us in praying for what God has planned for our family? Would you pray for the mom out there that will make the hardest decision of her life and choose us to parent her child (or children).

Thank you everyone for your continued support of us prayerfully and emotionally. We love you all and can’t wait for the day we get to share the best news of all with each of you.

One Month In…

So, we’ve been a “waiting family” for one whole month! Amazingly, I do not feel the way I thought I would feel after a month. I honestly thought I would be DEVASTATED. I thought Daniel would start looking for other living arrangements and I would be sitting on the couch every night drowning my sorrows in a tub of ice cream. But I’ve actually been feeling really great, I don’t sit around and mope although I do probably indulge in ice cream a little too often. But Daniel still wants to live with me and I think we’ve been taking everything in stride!

Now, don’t get me wrong. Every single morning of this month I wake up thinking “today could be the day!” and go to sleep with a little bit of sadness that today was not the day. I still get a little sad when I see another friend is expecting, or see a mom cuddling her babies. Every day is not my best day, but I charge on knowing that one day will be the day! And what a glorious day it will be!

OK, enough of the sap, let’s get to the meat of this thing. I want to write a little list to those waiting mommas out there – whether through fertility treatments, adoption or whatever else it is you feel like you’re waiting on – on how to deal with the wait. I’ve compiled from articles I’ve found online and also from talking to adoptive moms who now have their babies. I asked them, how did you get through this part of your journey? So here’s the list, enjoy it, share it, listen to it.

Pray or Meditate

I cannot advocate for this one enough. It never fails, when I feel my deep down crappiest, I just start talking to my savior. Sometimes it’s selfish prayer, sometimes angry, sometimes just asking why. But guess what? It doesn’t matter, he’s always listening. My favorite thing to do is when I feel the deep sadness, the sadness of loss and jealousy, I pray for my baby, but mostly I pray for the strong and brave woman who may be carrying them at that moment in time. (My own sweet mom gave me this advice and I cannot thank her enough!) I pray they are happy and healthy and at peace. It makes my heart smile every time I imagine where my sweet babe is, cradled in the womb of the most selfless person I’m ever going to meet. I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET HER!

Another note on this topic is meditation. I think technically I only did this once but I did it again the other day on accident (I’m weird) and both times have been the same feeling. A huge weight lifted off of me, my head feels free and clear. Check out HeadSpace.com to learn more about meditation because since I somehow figured out how to accidentally did it, I don’t think I can really teach you…

Write

This is one I need to get better at. First of all, writing (whether online or in a journal) is just a wonderful feeling. To get all of that pent up anger, sadness and feeling down and out of your brain is incredibly freeing. Also, if you’re waiting for a baby, imagine how excited they will be to read what you’ve written about them even before you knew who they were!

The way I encourage myself to do this is, I bought myself a really pretty journal. Check out RiflePaperCo.com oh em gee. So beautiful!

Complete House Projects

Poor, poor Daniel. I have been going crazy lady mode on getting our house in shape. Maybe this is a non-pregnant way of nesting? We’ve fixed things, I made a craft cart, I started sewing again. I forced Daniel into buying a piece of furniture to refinish (c’mon it was $5!) – which is already refinished and up for sale, he’s such a good man. The only downer here is if you’re adopting or going through fertility treatments you have about negative 4 trillion dollars so you have to get sneaky about how money is spent. What’s something you have all the parts to but just haven’t set your mind to yet? Make that your project!

I would also add to this category Daniel and my main distraction this month which has been starting a small business! We started a wedding decor & day-of coordination business that we couldn’t be prouder of. We’re slowly booking weddings and building up our experience and clientele. I’ve put every waking second of time in my day where I could be worrying or stressing into this business and it has saved me! Maybe you don’t want to start something like this but are you crafty or have a neat skill? Set up an etsy shop! If anything, you just earn some extra cash.

This is an incredibly shameless plug but if you haven’t already, please go follow Succulent Events on Facebook and Instagram 🙂 We’d love for you to see what we’ve done! Website is here!

Spend time and extra income on yourself

Basically, spend this time as if you were pregnant and just waiting for baby to arrive! Spend time with loved ones, be spontaneous, take long showers, take care of yourself. Wear your nicest clothes (one day they’ll be covered in baby vomit!) Read a book you’ve been wanting to read, spend time with your husband eating brownies and snuggling your puppies. I may or may not already be doing this 😉

Go on Vacation

Wait, WHAT? But Stefanie, I’m adopting – I have no money! LITERALLY MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. I don’t understand how people keep telling me to do this. First of all, all of my money is gone. Second of all, what if I go somewhere and IT’S TIME. You may be able to afford this/ be able to handle it mentally but I CANNOT.

Luckily we live in b-e-a-utiful Central Florida and we are within close driving distance to so many beautiful places. However, I have learned of something called “resort pool hopping.” OK, please don’t think I’m a bad person. First you waltz into the bar, you buy a drink, you casually say “hey, do you guys validate parking?” Oh, you do? OK, cool, I need that. You drink your beverage at the bar and then you mosey your little self out to the pool and relax and never look back.

I’m just saying, it’s a thought. I’ve heard it works. I may or may not report back on my own experience with this very terrible but very interesting idea.

Do you have more things to add to this list? I’d love to hear them!

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:20.

FINALLY WAITING!

FINALLY WAITING!

That title seems strange as I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to become a mom and now we can finally see our hard work coming to fruition!

That’s right folks, we are officially a “waiting family!!” I AM DOING ALL OF THE HAPPY DANCES!! To anyone else reading that, it may seem so grim, so vague and so unexciting but to us, it means that mommas are finally going to see what we’re all about, our cards are finally all out on the table. We’re done with our part, now it’s God’s turn to show us where this crazy winding and weird road is finally going to take us! Thank you to everyone who has taken us this far, for your prayers, your selfless giving and your love, SO MUCH LOVE!

So, even though our profile book as been done for a few months now I promised myself I wouldn’t share it until was going to be shared with the whole world. So here it is! Nights of tears, frustrations (please, if you are in the process of adopting DO NOT USE SNAPFISH -I honestly messaged them and point blank asked why their system was so terrible – not one of my brightest moments – haha.) This book is the key to our future. Please pray with me that a mom will look at this book and see her future child’s parents. We would love nothing more than to have that responsibility!! OK, I’m done now, without further ado…

Front Cover:

Front Cover

Inside Cover:

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.08.26 PM

The next series of pages are spreads but I wanted to make sure you could read so I put them as separate images!

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.30.00 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.30.20 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.30.32 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.30.41 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.30.51 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.30.58 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.31.08 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.31.16 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.31.26 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.31.33 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.31.43 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.31.50 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.32.41 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.32.49 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.33.01 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.33.08 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.33.19 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.33.37 PM

Inside Back Cover:

Thank you

Back Cover:

Back Cover

 

 

 

 

The Waiting Game…

Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted here, and I started to feel like I was letting you all down! The truth is, there hasn’t been much to share and that has been disappointing to me, I want to come here when there is actual news to share! However, that would be a very lame blog to read…so here you go! 🙂

We are currently still (insert small breath and prayer for patience here) waiting for our home study to be approved. It has been over a month since our last home visit yet for some reason, we aren’t through the woods yet. Once the home study is approved, we can actually begin to wait. Funny that I am being so impatient about the ability to wait…We have completed our profile book and I am so EXCITED! I want to share that with all of you soon and once we get the final OK that we are approved to wait, I will share it here. It’s with the agency and as soon as the home study is approved, they’ll start sharing those books with expectant parents. Would you please pray for all of those moms and dads with me? That they have strength and the ability to cling to their heavenly father in this tough time. That they know that whichever family they choose to parent their baby, or if they decide to parent their baby that God’s plan is always, always good.

The past few weeks of waiting have definitely been tougher for me. A work acquaintance’s pregnancy announcement recently shook me in a way I wasn’t really prepared for. Yes, I am excited about the impending joy for their lives and yes I am so excited to meet their baby, but I find myself playing the comparison game. I may never get that moment to tell my family that there is a life growing inside me. Sure, I’ll get to share when we’re matched and yes, I’ll get to hold my baby for the first time and sob with joy. But it’s not the same. I would feel weird parking in the “expectant mother” spot in the parking lot, but I’M EXPECTING. I feel strange walking into a baby store and not getting the same reaction as an eight-month pregnant glowing woman, but I’M GOING TO BE A MOTHER. It’s going to be weird attending my own baby shower and being able to drink, OK maybe not that weird ;). But still, all of these things are comparing apples to oranges. My path to motherhood is different, it is not any less joyful, any less exciting and any less ordained by the Lord. So in that, here is what I’ve been clinging to:

“The Lord your God is in your midst,a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you with his love.” Zephaniah 3:17

“For this light, momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

So, if you are feeling the same things I am feeling of loss, inadequacy and complete lack of control, cling to the Lord and let him quiet you with his love. I just am enthralled by that picture of the Lord just soothing my heart with his presence. I was in a moment of weakness a couple nights ago and this phrase was spoken to me “better blessings are coming from above.” I know that was God quieting me with his love. He has such a huge picture painted for me and I’ve only seen the first few brush strokes. Take refuge in the unshakeable truth that he has blessings for you, but they aren’t coming from this world, they’re coming from above.

OK, ok, I’ll give you a sneak peak of the profile book 🙂 Here is the very first page on the inside…

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.08.26 PM.png

 

We can see a finish line…

Hello all!

It’s been a very busy few weeks since I posted here. First I want to share with you a general idea of where we are in the process since this is the question I get most often: “So, do you know when you’re getting your baby?” Short answer, no. Long answer here are the things we still have to complete before we can be considered a “waiting family.” As a waiting family, we will have completed everything on the agency side and simply be waiting for a sweet momma to look at our book and make the ultimate decision to let us parent her child. The agency has said this waiting process can take 12 – 24 months but that is on the extreme side and we have hope that we will wait less than a year. But you know, big man upstairs has other plans that are bigger and greater than our own, so we’re keeping the faith that no matter the timing, WE WILL BE PARENTS one day! OK, back to the list we are still working through, I’ve crossed off what we’ve already completed:

  • Attend an infant CPR class
  • Attend a “baby basics” class – Scheduled for 3/21 
  • Complete our third and final homestudy visit – Scheduled for 3/27
  • Read 3 adoption books and 1 article and write a paragraph for each, describing how we’ll use the tactics we read about to parent our child – We have completed 2 out of the 3 books and are well on our way to completing the third.
  • Complete a “homework packet” with questions about our openness preferences with the birth parents and our parenting styles/techniques – We are about 1/2 way through this.
  • Spend the day with a newborn and practice making bottles and changing diapers – I see some of our friends getting a date night in the near future 😉
  • Complete our “look book”and share with a member of Bethany to get final approval  – We are 98% finished with this book and will send to the contact hopefully this weekend!
  • Print the look book and deliver to Bethany
  • START WAITING!

So as you can see, we have most of the work behind us, our fundraising is completed (HUGE SHOUTOUT) to everyone who made that possible. We are planning to do something special in the nursery to commemorate everyone who donated and helped us through this journey, we feel so blessed by you <3.

So, we are probably a few weeks to a month away from becoming a waiting family and we know what God has some awesome things in store for us. Would you please pray for me to have patience through this time? Becoming a mother has always been a desire of mine and patience (in God’s timing) has always been a struggle but, I am determined to make this time of waiting a productive one. I will pray daily over the people who may soon enter our lives and bless us with this amazing gift. I will pray for strength of the birth parents and mostly for Daniel’s sanity as we plan to wait 🙂

There is one thing I do want to address here so everybody is aware when it happens. As we are preparing ourselves to be matched, we’re also preparing ourselves for the reality that although we are matched, until all papers are signed, we have no rights over that child. We could be matched in month 7 of momma’s pregnancy and go forward for 2 months under the assumption that she will still choose us. But, when she holds that sweet blessing in her arms, she may decide to parent that child. This is a complete and real possibility that we are well aware of and respect greatly, considering the decision that she is making is most likely going to be the hardest she will ever make. We are going to joyfully announce to you when a match has been made and confirmed but we will ask you at that time to please just pray for that mother and her decision because even though we are matched, that does not mean that is our child. Pray for us to trust the Lord’s sovereign plan over our lives.

Once the look book is approved, I can’t wait to share photos with you! I really feel like we captured our spirit in our book and that someone very special will get to know us through it.

Thank you all for your continued love, support and prayers, it means so much to us!!