Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Drinking from a Fire Hydrant"

Brad and I had the privilege of attending an adoption seminar put on my Empowered to Connect (ETC) in Nashville this last weekend. It was wonderful, scary, inspiring, and truly enriching. ETC was started by Dr. Karyn Purvis and she is absolutely wonderful at working with at-risk children...she calls them "children from the hard places"....wow and does she know how to love. Her number one goal is to make sure children know that they are each precious. Her patience and talent is truly inspiring. Her knowledge is beyond understanding... her calling from God is clear. We learned about nutrition, play therapy, brain development....and so much more. We heard inspiring stories of families getting through deep challenges, and we heard heart wrenching stories of children that had an adoption disruption - but now are placed in the right environment and there is hope. Behind all the challenges....and there will be challenges... there is always hope. Most of all, we learned the importance of reaching out to others early in the process to seek help when struggles come up. We are SOOOO thankful for the insightfulness and dedication of our adoption agency, that actually required a VERY extensive service plan that required us to already seek these type of resources (therapists, doctors, etc)…so we have all that lined up and we are already building relationships with those folks…because it is so important to know them well, and for them to fully know our kids when they come for an appointment. (When I say, know our kids…what I mean is know the plight of a child from an orphanage, know the possibilities of deficiencies, understand sensory issues, etc.) . One of our therapists was at the conference…and a big support group that we are involved with had lunch with her.

I must confess… on the drive home from the conference…I had a raging headache…but I think it was the release of stress and tension… I mean, these two days were INTENSE! But we were both so very thankful. Plus we also found two new friends that live near us… had an opportunity to have dinner with them…and they shared their story. Now really, how often are people in this day and age emotionally able to have dinner with two strangers and bare their soul on their adoption story … which was a heart-breaker. But God is good…and he has performed miracles in their lives…just as he has ours… so their story ended good. Get this…in a huge auditorium… I can’t even imagine the number of people that attended…but clearly in the 1000’s …maybe about 1/4 of a typical Wildcat game …. And guess who sits right next to Brad…but this couple..and they remembered us from a very brief parenting meeting we attended…and said, “aren’t you guys from Lexington”…we were like… “yes!”… from there on…fast friends. This was truly a divine appointment to find this couple. I pray we give to these relationships as they have so richly given to us… and we have a life shared in adoption.

Above all, I’m continuing to learn to set aside expectations, trust in God more and more, and grow in determination that we can handle (with God) anything that Lauren throws our way. Per the Queen of Bubblegum (Purvis), kids will test us, just to be sure that we can handle them. The key is handling them always with the mind-set that they are precious children… not bad behavior, just natural God-given instincts of survival….and at the end of the day, even the most challenged child wants to be loved, and wants relationship… after all – relationship is part of God’s divine creation. BTW: drinking from the fire hydrant was Purvis' phrase at the end of the two days, she asked, "so now that you feel like you've been drinking from a fire hydrant...what questions do we have!!"... :) Really, now where do we begin... LOL...
We are ready for you Miss Lauren….no matter what.
http://empoweredtoconnect.org/ --- check our their free videos online on insights for parents.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh where, oh where has our little NOC gone?

Ok, so it's probably not a good idea to give me timeframes..... our Article 5 letter was received July 15th -- we've been told NOC takes 60 days from Article 5... easy math says... what's up? I know it's only the 19th! But this is kindof like Christmas for a kid... it's past Dec 25th, and for some reason, the presents haven't appeared yet under the tree. So instead of sulking, complaining... let's make it fun!

Oh where oh where has our little NOC gone,
Oh where oh where can it be?
Our paperwork is there all nice in a bow
So why no NOC issued for me?

LOL -- this waiting does make us a little kooky at times! Sorry, if this song is now stuck in your head for the day.... :) Love you, little Lauren... praying you home every day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Praying for our children - blog girlfriends

Being connected through adoption blogs is one of the best things in our adoption life. It started with a committment to pray for one little special girl for a "blog-girlfriend". That started a burning desire in me to begin praying for these children daily....by name. God has been so faithful to provide His words of comfort and assurance during my prayer time. Of course on these blogs we don't share real names of our children until they are ours and at home...as to not expose them in any way... (as a result you can see in an earlier post -- our daughter's birth name is not "Lauren" -- it is something else). Well tonight, I'm here to share the initial of her birthname... it's "A".... you'll see why in a minute that I share this :) Well, praying for our children is really growing in my heart -- and it's hard to remember all their "names / initials"... so I've come up with the following..this helps me remember to pray for 4 little ones every day during my quiet daily commute to work. It truly has been a blessing. I really can't wait to hear news about any of these children!

"C" -- Christ
"A" -- Already
"V" -- Victorious
"R" -- Rejoice

These initials represent 4 precious children that families are waiting for! I know there are many more families waiting for news of their child, and we continue to pray for India in general as well. It is an honor to share such a personal life story with blog-girlfriends.... thanks to all of you for the encouragement... where two or more are gathered Christ is surely there. XOXOX - Renae.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rise and Shine Birthday Girl

In a few hours in India - it will be "Lauren's" 2 year old birthday. We only wish we could be there with her to celebrate. We plan on having a small little party with our family .... making cookies and praying for her. We pray she's healthy, happy, and heart-filled with anticipation of her new family. We mailed our photo books to our adoption agency and they loved them. I wish I could be there when our agency representative travels next month to visit her and present the photo books to her. Her child study report said she likes jovial play... so we can't wait to experience precisely what that means for her. I imagine her to be curious, insightful, and intrigued by her surroundings. In her photos you can also see the inside of her little soul. I know one thing, she is strong and has an internal spirit for survival...as I like to call it at work, "a fire in the belly"... meaning the strength to endure even the toughest challenge. I really think that's our little girl -- we'll see if I have her pegged correctly when we meet, but my mother's instinct says... she's one strong little girl. Happy Birthday - sweet baby girl... mommy is praying for you today :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Great Weekend at Papa's House

We had a great time visiting Brad's parents this weekend. Joshua was in heaven spending time with his Papa. There was an airplane show at the airport that Brad's dad keeps his plane...so we got to see planes, antique cars, tractors, and helicopters....and of course Joshua got to spend lots of time downstairs in the basement with Papa running trains. So we call this the Planes, Trains, and Automobile weekend.... auto comes in because it was the first time we drove to Rockford, instead of flying. The airline tickets have gotten pricey -- and the bus ride from Chicago to Rockford has also gotten more complicated....so we drove... and split the trip in two days.. really worked out well. Joshua also tried rock climbing for the first time (it was his idea..and given the harness, etc. it was safe, so thought we'd let him try).... I was so proud of him, he did great... I think we have a climber in the making for sure. We also got to pick raspberries and visit Aunt Betsy's house to see dogs and horses.. no pics, because camera battery was dead at this point...but was really a great family weekend. Joshua is already planning next summer's visit....although we're hoping to have an addition to the family by then :)
We are so thankful for our family. And one icing on the cake was.... when we got home, my mom had surprised us with a clean house! How cool is that! Now back to reality and our weekly routines :)