Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beginning the Paper chase - the beginning of finding Lauren

We have the first visit with the home study social worker this upcoming weekend. We are meeting at our new house... boxes and all. She was ok with this... and this is who we are at the moment. We've unpacked many boxes (but not all)... but we've also taken a small break in "moving" activities to celebrate Joshua's birthday and spend time with Brad's parents - they came down for the weekend and we don't see them much - so this was a very special time together. One exciting event, we got Lauren's crib upstairs!! The movers said it was too wide... which is was, so Brad's dad and Brad took it apart and moved it up and put it all back together. It looks wonderful up there just waiting for someone special. We don't know for sure if she will be too old for a crib, but we're thinking she might be 12-24 months... and in a new environment, a crib is safest if she's on the higher end of the range...or even older.

I'm nervous about our first meeting with the social worker. I feel we are ready to officially begin this journey and we have nothing to hide... but it's still a little scary thinking about all the questions we may be asked and the idea that we always wonder if we are worthy. The level of detail is so great... for example, one item on the home study is whether or not our medicines are behind a locked door... or in a locked box... yikes. We've always had medicines well above reaching range for Joshua, but also... he's never been a child to "get into" things and he wasn't a climber... so this didn't even occur to me that medicine should be "locked".... of course all our cleaning products were behind a child safety lock when Joshua was a baby... so we'll probably need to revert back to some of those days. I guess it comes down to this... we've been blessed with a child that wants to be close to us... even when playing, so we've always been right there with Joshua and he's never even shown interest in getting into cabinets, etc. So I will need to work on child safety for sure before our visit. These are the types of things I pray we will have acceptable for our home study evaluation.... we have some time, but I know it will be here before we know it. This weekend is our initial meeting, educational visit... and the begin of completing paperwork.

Lord Jesus, give me great discernment to consider all that I need to be ready for this journey. We know there is a tiny baby right now growing... or even just born that you have picked out for our family. Even Joshua is calling her by name. We can't wait to add her to our family.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's a time of change

Well today we celebrated Joshua's 4th birthday. We had a great time at the Mad Potter painting - the funny thing is all Joshua's friends from his old class came and just one from his new class. He dearly misses his old friends from school, so this was a very special time together all these 4 year olds enjoying each other's company. We've moved to our new house... and we are so blessed... it's very spacious, so much we don't know what to do with. Adapting is challenging going from a ranch to a two story style + a basement. And now we're getting ready to meet with our social worker for the adoption and officially get the paperwork going. Our life right now is a time of change...of adapting..and adjusting. We are such a creature of habit, I feel my compass is a bit off right now with all this change.... I'm looking forward to a new normal, established routines, and being settled. This brings to mind the change that will come with Lauren... and the change she will experience too! It seems this time in our lives is quite exciting -- almost so full I don't know how to react!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Home from Kenya

I returned home from Kenya (on a mission trip with my church) to a wonderful welcoming at the airport from family and friends ....and of course Joshua. He was so strong during my time away, but missed mommy dearly. The trip was so amazing - experiencing every emotion possible....and even found a new dear friend or two. The children and people of Kenya are beautiful - and in such dark circumstances - they have joy. As I see these children, I think often of Lauren in Nepal and the life circumstances there. I've certainly learned a new level of patience in Kenya - which I know will come in handy during our adoption wait. Upon return to the states - I checked my yahoo group to see if any news occurred since I was gone. The group seems so discouraged by the wait and events in Nepal...but there seems to be a small glimmer of hope on one of the recent posts - maybe even suggesting the process is moving again. I pray for these families - and hope those matched will travel soon. I confess I have doubts - as the time delays are so frustrating -- and I know the 2009 families must be complete before the 2010 (or so it may seem - as appropriate to follow that logic)...although I'm learning in adoption - nothing is ever a guarantee. I mostly pray that God directs this path for us -- if we are to change course....I hope he tells us in loud and certain ways. For now...I patiently sit back - watch the process for others, pray....and enjoy the life I have and each moment in it..... I am very blessed. Renae.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Eye-opening 4th of July

We had a great weekend with my mom's side of the family in the Gatlinburg, TN area. Mom's family - her 7 other brother and sisters and all their children....and grandchildren were there. Joshua was in heaven playing with 3 other little boys his age. He officially became a little boy this weekend....expressing himself, his wants, his desires (not in a spoiled annoying way)... just a little boy totally enjoying life with friends and wanting to spend every waking moment with them. This was shocking to us...because Joshua is shy, especially around strangers. But not this weekend.... from the moment we invited Jacob to come along with us for a round of miniature golf, Joshua knew he had found a new best friend in his second cousin. But there is more to the story... mom's family are mostly Mennonite - and these 3 little boys were part of that community. He felt totally safe and at ease in the company of over 66 people! I think it's mostly the love this family expresses through their actions, laughter, singing, family talks, and lots of GREAT food. I learned one thing.... our children are not born mean.... these little boys played with only a few toys that we pulled out of the backseat of our car...most of the time with very little conflict. I was shocked. They pretended they lived in a tree house, played hide and seek...and really found many things to do without the materialism of loads of toys, TV, or videos. We have felt for a while that it's important to facilitate finding friends for Joshua.... but this experience proved to us even more that he loves being a boy...and is a very good friend to others. I can't tell you how it warmed my heart as they all hugged when we left this morning.

I know Joshua will be a great big brother to baby Lauren.... he got a little practice this weekend with baby Lyndsey (one of his other second cousins)... but I think it's more than that... he needs friends that confirm and validate who he is as a little boy. This is a new revelation, given we know he loves his friends at school, but most of them are girls.... which he loves dearly, but girls don't play the same way as little boys do....and I think they are all getting to the age where that is starting to come out. At least for us.... our little baby doll .... became a little boy this weekend, fully into the person he is meant to be for the moment....fully accepted and loved by others his age.... fully validated for who he is.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2009 Families (and those before) Wait

Nepal has switched government leadership and as a result certain positions are yet to be filled. Because of this change, Nepal adoptions are rurmored to be "on hold" until a new Minister is appointed to the women, family, children agency. I've joined a yahoo email group and I anxiously come home each day looking for good news for these families. Some have been waiting a VERY long time because their paperwork was in-country prior to the program closing down adoptions, which makes one wonder if starting over to be a 2009 family is possible for them...or quicker. The wait seems to be excruciating....tensions are high...and people are saying things to each other that they probably would not normally say. I'm feeling overwelmed with saddness, because nothing can be done for these ladies...other than pray.

I'm not a patient person... I can't imagine what this will be like for our family once our dossier gets complete and mailed to Nepal. But I know this, I will be watching the calendar and marking days until we get the notice of a referral of baby Lauren. Joshua is going up quickly...and we long for them to be close in age....so we likely will request an 18- 24 month...but that won't keep us from calling her "baby Lauren"..... given we still call Joshua "baby doll"... "sugar"...and all other kinds of love names.

He is changing every day....and brings us great joy. I am so thankful that we have him.... it bursts from me. I'm leaving in 9 days for Kenya on a mission trip, so I feeling a lot of anxiety lately about being ready....gathering supplies, doing laundry...and loving Joshua deeply. With all this going on, I've been a bit more reflective and leaning into what God has in store for our family... and I know it is good. God's love is ever present in our lives and His provision is mighty ...as we embark on so many possible changes in the next 2 months.... one being my Kenya trip, the other being possibly buying a foreclosed property and moving... and more. We excitedly await to see if God has all these in mind for us....or if He has other plans.

As for Nepal, we wait alongside these families praying for them.... hoping for encouragement and good news soon. The children of Nepal are beautiful and are needing our care...... and they sit waiting too.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day 2009

What a great day today....watching Joshua and Brad wash the car - each spraying each other with the hose. The love they share is amazing. As I embark on a mission trip to Kenya in a few weeks, Joshua is drawing closer to mommy... so today, as I watch out the window at Brad and Joshua - I know he will be just fine while I'm gone.

We were commissioned at church today - two teams to Kenya. (small break)... I was just called outside by Brad for Joshua who was "crying"... yea, right... as I entered outside in the garage, I was met with a spray from the hose....by none other than Joshua! Now I'm even more convinced these two will be fine without me for 12 days. ... Anyway, our trip is July 9th and we're very excited. Joshua and Nanna came up to the alter to pray for me during the commissioning -- what a great sight to see him approach the alter at 3 1/2 years old. On the way home out of the blue he asked, "Mommy, why are you going to Kenya." I replied to share the love of Jesus with people around the world. Wow what a great kid. "Do I get to go with?".... "No, my son, not this trip"...."but you do get to go to Grandma and Pappa's"... and for that moment, he was happy and ok with me leaving. Pappa's is a very special place. We pray that Lauren will be home soon to be able to experience many trips to Grandma and Pappa's house.

Gotta go.... I've just been official invited to join outside in a game of "spray".... can't wait :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

At church today the message was about community - and the people that impact others and those that impact us. In recent years of learning of other communities and hearing about others' mission trips - it's amazing how people in other countries rely so heavily on each other -- yet in America we're raised to be self-sufficient.

I think of baby Lauren - perhaps not yet born but in her mamma's womb - and wonder, is there a community for her? Is someone looking after her? The poverty is so prevalent. Yet it seems like provision comes in many sources for Nepali people. When I see the nannies and care givers I know these women are special people caring for all these orphans.

I also think of the adoption process and how important a community of families is now..and will be even more, when we're down the road a bit in the process. I can tell from reading blogs on Nepal, but also being in other email groups for China prospective parents... community is key to weathering this process. It's refreshing to see families celebrate for each other...even though they continue to wait themselves. This is truly what community is supposed to be... I hope I find those connections...and I hope I encourage others as they have encouraged me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hello! This is funny, me blogging (I am old-school...and not a techie at all!)-- well, it's really Brad helping me set up, and I'm typing my thoughts. :)

Entering this journey is surreal, while exciting, yet fearful...did I mention exciting? We are on the list for a 2010 adoption from Nepal. After several years on contemplating China and dealing with the long wait times, and new requirements in China, we've struggled to move forward on that adoption journey. Then earlier this year I found out about Nepal...and have been excited every since. We have already filled out the application at our agency (they will also do the home study), and we're on the 2010 list. We missed the 2009 list ...just barely...but those things we rely heavily on God for...and feel the timing of 2010 is part of His plan.

I am ever grateful for the Nepal adoption blogs I've been able to find -- I'm learning so much from all of you.... so I am so very thankful. I come home each day to pull up the blogs to see if anyone added a post. So... I'm inspired to begin blogging myself...although it's going to be a really long journey for us...since we're not gathering paperwork until fall... although that will be here before we know it. Meanwhile, we'll spend our days with our son Joshua (3 1/2) - who is a treat! He is anxiously awaiting a baby sister - but also has a lot of other things on his mind, like trains, and cars, and movies, and preschool, his friends, the playground, and swimming! It's going to be a great summer and fall.