Life Lately

Hi, everyone! I do apologize for how quiet it's been over on the blog, but it's for good reason ... I promise! ;)

We are elated to announce that we are EXPECTING! Our sweet, rainbow baby is due in July. We have prayed for this little one for years, just like we prayed for our first miracle baby (who we hope to meet and hold in heaven).

I know you are probably wondering what that means for adoption. We know that God has called us to adopt. Adoption was never a "means to an end". With that being said, it is our agency's policy to place us on "hold" until our baby reaches 18 months of age and at that time we can pick back up from where we left off. It definitely seems sooooo long from now, but it's for good reason. We are still looking forward to adoption and the child God will bring us through it.

I was going to do a few separate posts to update you on the pregnancy but considering I am 25 weeks pregnant, that would be A LOT to catch up on. Instead, I will just give a brief overview of the last 25 weeks and specific things that stood out. Ready, set, go...

We found out November 5, 2017 via an at home pregnancy test. I was late (nothing really new) and I just had this feeling that something was up. I took the LAST test I had and BAM! it was positive. Insert all the heart eye emojis here. On Monday I called my OB/GYN and made an appointment for the next day (Tuesday) where they confirmed the pregnancy. From there we prayed and prayed and prayed .... and prayed that God would allow this little baby to make it past the first trimester, full term and into life. Of course, we are still praying for this babe - everyday. We had an ultrasound the day after they confirmed the pregnancy - I was 6 weeks. We had another ultrasound at 8 weeks and 10 weeks. My doctor (who is AMAZING) wanted to check on the progression of the baby. We had a regular check-up at 14 weeks and listened to the heartbeat on the Doppler. We had our "20" week appointment at 19 weeks. I have to say, I absolutely loved this appointment. We got to see the baby for more than 30 seconds and hear the heartbeat for more than 5 seconds. It was such a sweet time. At this appointment we also found out that our sweet baby is a GIRL! I went back at 23 weeks and heard the heartbeat on the Doppler - that sound will never get old. My next appointment is in two weeks, I'll be 27 weeks, and it will be the glucose test. Yay. Some tidbits of information, I had "morning" sickness from about 6 weeks to 17 weeks and I will still get nauseous if I wait too long between meals (or snacks) to eat. Other than that, it has been wonderful and I am blessed beyond measure to be called to carry this baby.

Now, let me just say that pregnancy after loss is not easy. At. All. It's been nerve wracking and at times, down right scary. (I may do a post on it at some point because I know there are many women who walk down this road and I would love to just encourage you through it.) I also want to say that this baby does not replace our first baby. Our first baby had a purpose and a plan, something we strongly believe. We thank God for that baby. God has been gracious to give us another baby to pray over and love. We are forever grateful. We are also very much looking forward to picking back up with Adoption!

Whew, that was a lot. Thank you for following along and I'll try not to wait too long to get back over here again. Happy Fri-YAY!

Adoption Journey - Timeline 1

For some of you, this will be some of your favorite posts but for others, not so much. I say that because it really depends on the season of life that you're in as to whether or not posts about Adoption is something you want to read. With that being said, I encourage you to read them because you never know what God may put on your heart ;) God used this blog to help me learn about Adoption and it forever changed mine. 

I would like to share three disclaimers. First, every Adoption story is special and unique to each individual family. Sure, some adoptions happen weeks to a couple of months after the Home Study is complete while others can take up to a year (or more). It's a blessing to not have a cookie cutter experience; however, my prayer is that all adoptions would bring glory to God and redemption to families. Second, there will be some things we won't share for the safety and privacy of our family. I mean, this is the wide world web so I would rather not share specific details or names of anyone involved in our adoption journey (i.e. Agency name, location, social worker and certainly not our expectant family information). Thank you for understanding! Third, there is a lot of detail here but it's because I want to soak in every. single. thing. about our sweet journey that will lead us to our baby. 

5/22/17 - Inquired with our Agency
5/23/17 - Agency sent us our Child Preference Checklist (Basically, you read through this checklist and mark what your family is looking for and comfortable with regarding a child. It was everything from age range to medical conditions and let me tell you, it was an incredibly tough checklist to fill out.)
*There was a date from 5/23 to 6/6 where I looked on their website and they had a message saying they capped their Adoptive Family list and I was SO bummed and I may or may not but definitely cried. I felt like this agency was an answer to prayer and this was a setback that I wasn't prepared for. But both, my darling husband and one of my best friends (who also happens to be my personal consultant and a huge blessing as she's adopted twice!) both told me to just call and ask them if that included us since we sent an inquiry. I was hesitant because we hadn't emailed our CPC form back but I finally did and praise the Lord, she said it DID NOT include us! Of course I felt silly for crying but adopting makes your hormones all crazy too so I blame it on that. 
6/6/17 - Emailed our CPC form back
6/27/17 - Received the Agency Application
*Went on vacation for a week. Budgeted out application fee
7/20/17 - Emailed our application to agency and mailed our application fee
7/27/17 - Agency received fee and began working on our references (which were a lot)
*There was a time here where the Florida Adoption Laws made an update to the amount of Adoption Training hours needed for Adoptive families to have so our agency was working to ensure they had what they needed to abide by the law.
8/15/17 - First Home Study visit scheduled for 9/6/17
8/23/17 - Received the family resume to fill out (WOW. This was kind of a lot. It asked about our relationship with our parents, our relationships with Christ, our finances, our marriage and what led us to adoption.)
8/24/17 - Emailed what we thought was the completed family resume
9/1/17 - Emailed the pages of the family resume we forgot the first time
9/4/17 - Home Study visit rescheduled because of Hurricane Irma
9/27/17 - Agency added a December date for the Adoption Training class and we signed up (we had a prior engagement for the one in September that we could not get out of)
10/05/17 - First Home Study visit RESCHEDULED
10/19/17 - First Home Study visit
11/15/17 - Home Study Part 2
12/09/17 - First Adoption Training class

Well, that's where we are thus far. I'll update this every few months as we move forward in our adoption. I was going to do a specific post on the home study visit but I don't feel as though it deserves its' own post so I'm going to share about it in this one.

I totally worked up this home study in my head and it was not nearly as scary as I thought. Now, every home study is different as every agency is different and this was only the first part. I have no clue what part 2 will look like. We sat down in the living room and went over our family profile that we filled out. Basically, we reviewed what we answered and elaborated on why we answered the way we did. We took a break after about an hour and a half and that is when we showed her around the house. Afterward we sat back down and talked a little more. She asked us questions about us (the first part were questions about each of us individually) such as our goals, why or what led us to adoption and how we rated our intimacy ... yes, you read that right. I knew to expect that question but it still doesn't change how awkward it is to answer. You should be fully aware as well. You're welcome. That was it friends! It really was like a friend coming over to hangout and get to know each other better. Our social worker is so incredibly sweet and you can tell she is for us. I have heard horror stories so I was a little nervous about that but she was great! To end this ridiculously long post, I give you a picture of us on our home study day (we took it right after).