Sunday, June 24, 2012

Praying for News on Passport

Hi all - just a quick note / prayer request.  Our agency rep has been out of the office, but returns back tomorrow.  Please pray we hear news about Lauren's passport this week.  For a whole host of logistical reasons, we really wanted to travel in July to pick her up..... plus, we're just kindof crazy excited to have her home!!  I REALLY want Joshua to have a long bonding summer with her - BTW I attended an adoption learning partner webinar that talked about integrating adopted children with existing children in the home... covering a variety of sibling issues.... it was AWESOME!  If you ever get a chance to do one of these webinars they are fabulous!  (and cheap too) - like $15 for one hour of training.... with such valuable ideas! 

One webinar take away was this...... adopted children should bond with parents first and then siblings.... this was very interesting to me.  Their advice was that ONLY parents do primary care giving - such as feeding, bathing, diaper changes..... siblings most important job is --- teach the new child "how to play".... Joshua is VERY excited to have this as his number one job!  He also understands that in the beginning, we are Lauren's care givers .... and that over time he can help in these roles after we feel well bonded with her.  For now, he can be the runner for a diaper or pullup.... the runner for a bottle or juice.  He's happy with that role :)

Another take away .... have a family calendar in which ALL children and family events are recorded, so in the busy times of therapy, bonding, doctor's appointments, etc. activities with the new child -- the existing child isn't wondering.... "how am I going to get to soccer this week" or "I wonder if I will get my game night - or trip to the pool as promised.... since she's home now"..... etc.  We love this idea because it seems to give a great balance to the family and each person's needs.  Joshua knows that Lauren will be our priority for a long while, but knowing and then experiencing it might be two different things, given he's been the one "large and in-charge" for so long.  Our goal is family unity .... and I think we've prepared him for the initial challenges and days ahead.  {I pray more than anything that Lauren likes Joshua right away --- he's wanting that to be the case so badly}. 

And a final take away that immediately comes to mind is to have "family meetings" -- even before you bring your new child home.  Family meetings get the existing children in the habit of voicing their concerns, feelings, expectations, etc.  So when the new child comes into the home.... these meetings continue and everyone has a say into how things are going or what we are feeling.  (of course little Lauren probably won't understand most of them in the beginning)....but I do think it will continue to give Joshua "a voice" as Dr. Purvis says..... and I think giving children their voice is the greatest gift we can give them. Lauren will catch on over time -- and one day I'm certain she will bring her concerns to the family meeting :)

Meanwhile.... keep praying for news so we can get this journey on the road.... we are ready and excited beyond words!  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baby Brain

Before I write this post - I'm putting a disclaimer -- this is in NO way meant to offend anyone with fertility issues and challenges.  I have a colleague that has been trying to get pregnant now for MANY years - and it breaks my heart - I really can't imagine the pain but can only empathize.  With that said, I have to tell all you PAPs out there something that I believe happens to us during the process of adoption... that (having had a birth child of my own.... you know him, our precious Joshua that we GUSH over)... happens when you are pregnant too.  This WILL be one of my questions to God in heaven one day...."Did you design us to experience "baby brain" when we are adopting too???" - I know you give us this when we are pregnant -- but how cool is it (sometimes ...ARGH) when it happens during our adoption here it goes...

If you don't know what "baby brain" is.... here is my best definition..... when you are pregnant, during the last trimester -- your brain almost seems to go to mush.  You can't remember a thing.  When this happened to me - it was wild.  Here are a few things I recall happened while pregnant with Joshua:

1.) Don't recall even the closest friends' names
2.) Call my husband by another name ...or forget his name :(
3.) Used my maiden name when introducing myself
4.) Forgetting almost anything I tried to remember
5.) Words / sentences twisted during communication

And then of course there is also the "nesting" - which I believe I wrote another post on previously.... Lord knows I nested while pregnant with Joshua -- and certainly nested here at home getting ready for Lauren.  It's a deep urge to get ready - to buy things - to organize things - to "get your house in order" kindof desire.... and it's intense, not just...oh I should pick up the house today.  It's a crazy energy - kind of thing, and it happens naturally! 

During those last months of pregnancy, it's as if.... all that is normal is somehow put on hold - and you mind is elsewhere - totally focused on this child to come. 

Well, last week I had a really rough week at work.  I forgot a very important deadline - that just doesn't even seem possible since I had worked on the project the week before.  When I say "forgot" -- I really mean forgot!  It wasn't in my memory anywhere.....GONE, nada, out of here.... no where to be found kindof gone!  I am thankful that my bosses are gracious -- because wow it was devastating to me and a colleague emotionally (we are both hard on ourselves and just can't believe it happened -- she forgot too, but for other reasons).... it's like all that could go wrong did.  I'm very thankful we are moving on....but it was a hard week.  So driving to work one day after this happened it occurred to me..... I officially have "baby brain".... and I'm incredibly intrigued by this.  Did God design us to experience during adoption all those same things as while pregnant? (of course, I realize not ALL things are the same....duh, I haven't went off the deep end here folks)... but something inside does go on while adopting, I promise.  I was shocked about the nesting months ago...and now this.  You see, I DON'T forget things...EVER!  I'm the one reminding everyone around me, "do you have...this... and do you have ...that".  This doesn't happen to me.  I'm the one that remembers circumstances, numbers, and analyses for work from 10, yes TEN years ago!!! So during this LONG wait, I really think I'm having baby brain. 

Recently I forgot to have someone scheduled for hospitality team guest desk at church while we were out of town, I've forgotten emails I agreed to write, I've forgotten projects and things on my to-do list.  I could go on and on....I know, and I am doing just that, babbling here to all of you :)..... it's just so weird. 

So little miss, my entire focus is on you and getting to you... in these last days and weeks of our wait .... I am longing for you deeper and more intense than ever.  It's like a top that starts spinning and begins to go faster and faster... our bags are packed (for the most part) and we are ready to meet you, and hold with you...and love you. 

P.S. - so many times I hear from people asking about adoption and do you raise a child that is not "your own"....and I just want to say if you struggle with this question and wonder if you should adopt consider this ...... (and I say this with the utmost respect for your journey - and certainly a full appreciation for the full knowledge of what to expect when adopting)....... God has designed a universe that loves and experiences things beyond our imagination - I promise you that you can have a full and totally fulfilling family through adoption full of the SAME kind of love as any other family with birth children or otherwise. It's a Jesus kind of love, one that isn't measured by "the world's standards" -- it's deep, and real and selfless ...and a huge blessing.  We don't find our identity based on our lineage, our name, or our blood.... we find our identity in the Lord who loves us for who we are uniquely created to be.... the Lord who loves us and created us TO love.  The same Lord, that if I'm right...gave us the gift of "baby brain"....EVEN while adopting one of his children :)

Counting down the days.......if only I knew what day to count to :)
We'll see you soon little miss. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Waiting and wonderin'

Hi all - well, we're still waiting to hear about Lauren's passport...once that gets issued then we get that long awaited call... that says, "You can book travel and pick up your daughter".  Meanwhile, we're wondering about her, what she's doing, does she know about her little heart prepared for this big trip away from the only home she's ever known.... and we wait........

We've been busy as usual, which is so good to pass the time...but I'm really looking forward to a slower pace.  Mom's ankle is healing, but she's still on a walking cast/boot.  Her big news is she's buying a that has been fun and exciting working through all the issues of purchasing a property as a for sale by owner!!  She's worked hard and waited a long time to be able to move to our side of town, so we're excited to see all this fall into place for her. 

Joshua is having a great summer at summer camp and spending time with his friends (Trey and Donavan).  And of course baseball in the backyard with daddy each night....and collecting lightning bugs.  I've been busy with work...and so has Brad.  We continue to pack and plan for the trip... our church held a baby shower for Lauren AND the orphanage.  It was so sweet to see them donate things for us to give BAT!  Mostly crayons, coloring books, candy, hard books, diapers, etc.  I can't wait to share all the things we are bringing as a donation to the children there.  It's funny how when so many people hear our story they want to send a donation....gotta love the hearts of people! 

Joshua continues to talk about Lauren.... she's already his sister in his heart :)  She is part of every day conversation with him.  He is getting ready for an exciting day at Holiday World.  We went last summer --- he absolutely loves it.  We've decided we needed to book this before Lauren gets home...because things will be pretty quiet and low key when she arrives and we won't be taking long car rides (like 3-4 hours) visit an unusually large amusement park and water park combined!!  It's overwhelming for me sometimes all the we know she will have to wait until next summer (or maybe the summer after that!)...before we venture out on such a trip with her.  So meanwhile, we book it and check it off our summer list with Joshua BEFORE little miss comes.  All our plans are BEFORE and AFTER Lauren these days.  :)  We went to Brad's nieces wedding this last weekend...was great to see family and said...."see ya in Christmas, the 4 of us!!!"  Can't wait to share Christmas at Grandma Blunt's house.  It's so easy to be there and it's fairly quiet and low key.  Of course it's lots of cooking, church, visiting, and games.  Sometimes a movie...sometimes it's listening to grandchildren play piano or violin :)  .... it's easy-going and little miss is going to love it!

On other adoption fronts -- I am loving to follow all of you on how God is at work in a mighty way in your lives and the lives of your children (both current...and those to come).  I stand in awe of His greatness and how His plans always seem to unfold for our good.  He really does love us, doesn't He??    If you are waiting and wonderin' about us.... we are waiting and wonderin' about you....the process is a marathon and not a sit back and enjoy the jog...and scenery along the way.  God is good, and he is faithful. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Like the Sesame Street songs says, "Who are the people in your neighborhood...."

The other day driving in our neighborhood on the way home - I noticed this beautiful Indian woman walking along the side walk.  Our neighborhood is great for walks and people seem to exercise often on the walking trails, riding bikes, etc.  Anyway, as I drove home this woman caught my eye - with her beautiful Indian dress and sari out for an evening stroll -- I couldn't help but smile because I know that Lauren will see people of India heritage in her neighborhood.  It's not often you see people from India in your community - let's face it.  People tend to gather in communities that have similarities.  So the fact that our neighborhood is so diverse - warms my heart....we see traditional clothing / Indian people often.  Now to bridge the gap and build relationships with these folks - that might be a little more challenging (some people may think I'm a little crazy starting a conversation with a stranger) - but I have a feeling in time our little Miss will draw her own attention from strangers and hopefully relationships will build so we can continue some Indian traditions with friends in the neighborhood.  I may be idealistic, but I'm open to learning more and more of India culture and tradition....and I pray those around us are willing to teach us. The folks at a local restaurant were very friendly and interested in our adoption - and want to meet little miss when we get home.  Another family - market owner - was also quite friendly when we went to buy items for an Indian meal. So I know there is great potential ... it will be our responsibility to be deliberate and intentional in keeping some of her roots, while growing new ones too.  I couldn't think of a better place for us to begin the journey :) 

Still no official word on her passport, but I'm still praying we get word in June. 

Anyone now have that wonderful Sesame Street song tune going through your mind...???  "who are the people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neigh-bor-hood....yes, who are the people that you meet each day??"