What’s Happening?!

I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of covering the backstory of our decision to adopt so far in this blog.   I figured that now is as good of a time as any to dive in to the current events.   Trust me, there’s a LOT to keep up with!  Ryan and I are living in a state of pretty constant exhaustion and busy-ness.  I know it’s not something we can sustain for a long period of time. We need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves  and protecting our marriage through this process.  We’ve done a really stellar job of communicating with each other when we feel exhausting or overwhelmed and need a break.  Most of the time we even manage to communicate those things without being snippy or grouchy with each other. WIN!  We are setting aside a week in July to completely unplug and pause everything to just spend some quality time with each other and refresh.  We recognize how important it is to us and for us to take this time and replenish.   We may just be sitting at home hiding in the air conditioning or fishing at the lake, I have no idea. I do know that we’re unplugging completely for the week.

We have a ton of fundraisers happening right now. I’m not even sure I know everything that is going on at the moment!  I’m so beyond thankful for all of the countless people who have offered their time, their talents and their money to help us in this process.  Adoption is expensive.  We are far from rich in a monetary sense.  But trust me when I say that God is showing us that HE can make up for our lack of monetary riches by showing us the how wealthy we are in relationships.  You guys are amazing!

Right now,  we’re working on organizing a few really fun events!   We’re definitely having an old fashioned benefit this summer- complete with food,  games, music, etc.  We’re excited to spend time with our friends and family all in one place.  Details will be coming SOON.   My awesome mom has taken this project on and I am SO thankful for her support and her help.  If you want to help her help us, let me know! I’m sure she’ll gladly put you to work!  We’re also working on organizing a Chinese auction.  This will tentatively be held in the Boneyfiddle at Journey Within during one of the Final Friday celebrations.   If you or someone you know would like to donate something to be auctioned off: contact me or Ryan.  We’ve had some really great responses so far from you guys. This auction will be EPIC!

We’re also working on our Puzzle!  I promised to be completely honest in this blog, and honestly, the puzzle has hit the back burner the last few weeks.  We haven’t talked about it much, but there will be update pictures and a LOT more to come in the next week with the puzzle!  We’re excited to have all of the pieces sponsored and reveal our nursery theme.   Pieces are $10 each or 3 for $25.  If you’ve never heard of the puzzle fundraiser, here’s how it works:

Every person who donates to our adoption becomes a part of our story; a piece of our puzzle. 
  • We have designed a 300 piece puzzle; every piece symbolizing someone who will help bring our baby home.
  • Each piece is a donation of $10 or you can sponsor 3 pieces for $25
  • You may choose to be one piece of the puzzle or several pieces of the puzzle.
  • YOUR name will be written on the back of each piece you represent!
After the puzzle is completed, we will frame the puzzle between two pieces of glass and hang it in our child’s room. To add to the suspense, we’ll post pictures of the progress of our puzzle periodically, but you won’t know what the puzzle looks like or the theme of our nursery until it’s complete!
We are also still VERY actively still selling tshirts!  We have surpassed the 400 mark in tshirt sales which is just incredible to me!  Every week I think, “ok…  we probably won’t have any more shirts” and then BOOM! My inbox is full and I’m scrambling to throw the order together and get it to the shirt shop.   I picked up the latest order today after work and already have another 20 shirts to turn in on  what we lovingly refer to as “T-Shirt Tuesday”  We’re thinking of offering a new color as a 1x special order.   If you’d like to see the Adoption = Love shirt in another hue.. let us know !
Last but not least we still have a YouCaring site up and running.   You can check it out here:
We have a LOT going on.   I’m overwhelmed at times, but it is all SO exciting!   We are working just as fast and as hard as we can to bring our little T-Bird home.   (Curious about why we are calling our baby T-Bird? Maybe that will be the next Blog topic!)
We have just 2 months to raise another $4,500 in order to make our first BIG payment to our adoption agency. It’s really important that we meet this first deadline so that our application to remain “active”. If we miss the deadline, we have to reapply.  We’re trusting that God is going to continue to provide!  He has overwhelmed us so much already! (Being overwhelmed with life isn’t so good. Being overwhelmed by God= AWESOME!)
In all, we need around $34,000 to be fully funded.  It’s a BIG number.  We have a long way to go. We serve an even BIGGER God.  I just know this is going to come together and when it does we’ll only be able to say, “Thank you Lord.  Thank you family. Thank you friends.”
Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough to say.
“The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life, and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds.  The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The people that love you, simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people.” 
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Dear T-Bird

My sweet little T-Bird,

I’ve been thinking about you an awful lot today.  Wondering what you’ll be like.  Dreaming about that first moment that I see your beautiful face. I find myself having to pull my thoughts back to whatever trivial task I am working on at the time. I would so much rather dream my dreams of you, but there will be time for that.  For now, I have to stay focused.  It is so hard to know that there is so much work still to do before you can come home.  Sometimes, I feel like we’ll never make it.  But I know that we must keep fighting. We have to keep working.  Our sweet little T-bird needs us.  For you,  I’m already willing to do anything.

I have so many questions about who you are and when you’ll come.  Will your birth mother or birth father want to play a role in your life?  Will I know the right things to say to them?  Will you know the strength of my love in those magical first moments that we meet? It fills my heart with inexpressible joy when I think of you, and at the same time it leaves me with an ache that I can’t quite explain.  How long will I have to wait to meet you? Am I working hard enough and fast enough to bring you home?  Will you know the depth of my love even in those moments when I fail as your momma?  Will my love be enough to help you overcome the hurt you’ll know from being given up by your birth family? I sure hope. All I can do is hope and pray.

I haven’t met you.  I don’t even know if you have been conceived yet. I don’t know what color your hair will be or the shade of your skin.  I picture you with brown eyes,  but they could be blue or even green.  I could have mere months to wait, or perhaps the time will be much longer. I can only hope and pray that I will meet you soon.  Waiting is difficult.  I’m trying my best to trust in the Lord’s timing but it can be so hard when I feel like I’ve already waited so long. Yet, I am willing to fight for you. Your daddy and I are willing to work and wait for as long as it takes to bring you home.  I am willing to put my heart on the line for the dream of what will be.  I’m holding fast to the promise I feel in my heart that you are coming.  I wish I knew when, but for now I will be content in this season of working and waiting.

T-bird,  I don’t know when it happened or how it happened- all I know is that I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with you.  I feel like my life is moving so quickly because there is always something to do.  There is always somewhere to be. Yet, at the same time the minutes and hours and days crawl by.  For now, there is no end in sight.  There is no magical day set aside for us to meet.  We just have to keep working.  You are worth every ounce of effort, every smile, every tear. We won’t be the perfect parents.  We’ll mess up. Despite our best efforts we won’t be able to understand some of the things you will feel and experience. Our love won’t be able to heal and fix all of your wounds. But I hope that we know how to point you to a Heavenly Father who can heal and fix even the deepest wound.

We will have hard times, but we will also have good times.  We will fight for you. We will fight with you. I hope and pray that you will never for one moment doubt that you are loved fiercely.  You may not always feel it,  but,  I can promise you that you were wanted from the very moment you were conceived.  By me. …. By us. We sure can’t wait to meet you.

Love,
Mom

For this child I prayed and the Lord granted the desires of my heart. 1 Samuel 1:27

So, What’s wrong with you anyways?

We’ve been swamped the last few weeks with t-shirt orders and getting them distributed as quickly as possible. You guys have BLOWN us away!  It has been a wild ride!   I set a personal goal for us to have sold 150 t-shirts by July.  When we initially talkadoptionequalsloveed with the local print-shop that we are working with they asked if we thought we could sell 100.   I hesitantly said, “absolutely!” but I worried that we wouldn’t make it.  Yesterday we picked up an order that included the 360th shirt.  360!!  That’s insane!!  When I really think about what that means it makes my eyes leak.  I thought I was a pro at preventing leaks but this experience is showing me just how wrong I was.   We are blown away by the love & support we have been receiving.  It’s incredible!  Speaking of shirts, our out of town friends, family and fans can order here:

http://wymerpartyof3.5minutefundraiser.com/

Those who are local can contact me or Ryan directly and we’ll get you hooked up!  We have several other fundraisers going on right now too!   Friends have done our are currently doing: Younique, Pampered Chef, Scentsy and Orgami Owl fundraisers. We are still actively working on our puzzle! (There will be more to come about the puzzle soon!)  We’re also in the midst of planning a Chinese auction, a Gigantic Rummage Sale & a Pancake breakfast! It’s going to be a busy, BUSY summer!

We’ve met a lot of really great people through this process. I’m meeting people in parking lots, parks, gyms and various other places around town. In meeting these new people or catching up with a friend of a friend, many of them have had the same difficult question to ask, “So, What’s wrong with you? Can you not have a baby?”  …Ouch.  Sometimes the most well-meaning questions can hurt. I know that isn’t the intention. People are curious. Adoption isn’t common. 35% of couples consider adoption.  Less than 2% actually follow through with it.  I get it. It’s awkward to meet with a virtual stranger and pick up a t-shirt. Small talk is inevitable. I’m good with small talk.  You’re investing in us. You’re investing in our child!   I am really committed to being open about our Adoption story. I’m hoping that by being open maybe it will inspire someone else to adopt a child or that it will encourage another couple/person who have started out on this journey to keep going.   Questions about adoption are ok.  They are welcomed!  Questions about my body and my inability to conceive are a little more difficult.

I’m not going to go into all of the medical mumbo-jumbo on the blog. I promised myself that I would be open about the process in the good times and in the hard times.   I really am being as open as I can with this whole process.  However, posting about THAT part of this process is just not something I’m comfortable with.  Plus, I just don’t know what purpose it would serve. This is about adding to our family through adoption, not our inability to have biological children. Some people may say that those two go hand in hand. I’m officially disagreeing.  I think it’s the ending of one chapter and the beginning of a new storyline. Maybe that’s a cop-out to avoid talking about the hard stuff, who knows?  It’s where I stand for today.

I do think it’s important to know that I have definitely have had my time of grief.  When you dream a particular dream for most of your life, letting go of it can be really hard.   I think it’s ok to let yourself grieve. I think it was necessary for me (and for Ryan) to go through the grief so that we could be prepared for what God had in store for us. I had to let go of what I had envisioned for my life in order to be able to fully grasp what God had planned for us. Do I see adoption as the back-up plan for our life?  No way.

I think that Adoption was a part of the BIG plan all along.   I don’t think that God, in all of his infinite wisdom, had to scramble to come up with a new game plan once we accepted that pregnancy just wasn’t in the cards for us.  If I’m honest, I think He was like, “FINALLY!  Now take 5 & get it together so that we can get started on my plan!”   Uhm, ok God!   We’re in!   It’s funny how it works out sometimes.  We are completely invested.  I have zero doubts that this is exactly how we are supposed to become parents.  I’m so excited about the next steps.

Moments of grief still trickle in.  I will probably always wonder what it’s like to feel a baby move inside of me.  There are times when I question why it has to be so hard (and EXPENSIVE!) to adopt when some people can so easily become pregnant. Why won’t my body do what it was designed to do?  I wish we had a due date so that we knew exactly when our baby would come into our lives. I wish I had an excuse for eating pickles and drinking chocolate milk for breakfast. (Ha! Ha!)  I grieve for our child who will undoubtedly experience their own grief and challenges because they were adopted.  People so often focus on the “gain” of the adoptive parents that they forget to consider the very real loss that I can’t protect our child from experiencing.

“My Friends, Adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much.  When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him. –Derek Loux

We are the UnderDogs.

I’ve been working on my Statistics homework tonight.  Anybody who knows me knows that I absolutely loathe math.  I just don’t feel like my brain was built to compute numbers or memorize complex formulas.  When I was a student at SSU about 10 years ago (EEK!, 10 years?)  I took and failed a math class.   This is the reason I’m taking this particular Statistics course.  While I failed the original class it certainly wasn’t a waste of my time.  I entered such a state of daydream that I did some of my very best creative writing while zoning out of lectures.   In that class I wrote a few songs that were eventually recorded or performed and did a good bit of creative writing.   It didn’t surprise me this evening that while I was struggling to complete my homework my mind wandered to this blog.   I wanted to write and had to WILL myself to complete my homework before popping in.  I made a promise to myself that I will finish my degree this time around.  Passing this course is the biggest hurdle to date in accomplishing this goal.  Tomorrow begins week 6/8 and I’m rocking a solid 90%.  I think I can actually do this!

Today has been emotionally exhausting.  Ryan and I had a late start this morning (which hasn’t been uncommon lately)  and rushed in to church with PB at the last minute. Last night I wasn’t feeling great-  more emotionally exhausted that physically ill,  but I had wrestled with wanting to just stay in bed and “call in sick” for my KP class.  I was certainly meant to be at church this morning.  I’m glad I dragged myself out of bed to be there.   I so needed it.

Pastor D started a new sermon series called, “God of the UnderDogs” this morning.  I thought it would be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to really impact me the way that I did. I won’t do an entire recap of the message.  I know I couldn’t do it justice.   I do know that it is exactly what my heart needed at just the right time.   Historically, I haven’t been one to show a lot of emotion.  I’ve prided myself on being able to hold back my tears.  This morning it was impossible.  I’ve really been wrestling with feeling like this adoption is just out of our reach.  Who am I to think we can be one of the very small number of couples who consider adoption and then actually follow through?  We are FAR from wealthy.  We can pay our bills and put a little back into savings, but this Goliath of a number ($34,500) keeps taunting me.  It just seems so impossible.  At least, it seems impossible in the short amount of time we have to make it happen.  I know without a shadow of doubt that if/when it does come together that it will be because God made it happen.  I can’t.  Ryan can’t.  It’s too impossible for us.  It’s overwhelming.  It’s exhausting.  But God,  He can move mountains and work miracles.  I have to trust in Him and not in what we can do or what we can provide.

I’ve also been wrestling with the thought of a birth mother choosing me to be the mother for her child. What makes me special?  Why would someone look through a picture book and say, “yes.. that’s who I want to raise my baby!”  I don’t know that if I had to base my own decision on a few photos and paragraphs about me that I would even choose myself. I’m not the prettiest or most successful person.  I can be shy.  I’m overweight.  My house wouldn’t make a spread in a home & garden magazine. If you visit my home you’ll certainly have a bit of dog hair on your clothes when you leave.   I can be anxious and worry about the little details instead of focusing on the bigger picture.   I have my broken pieces.  I have my imperfect past. I work full time. I’ve waited too long to finish my degree. What would make someone choose me?  What would make someone choose us when there are other couples who could provide so much more for their baby?  What makes me worthy?

I have been wrestling with feeling like the UnderDog from before the beginning of this journey.   My own doubts and insecurities have been nagging at me every step of the way.  For every doubt, there has been a confirmation that while I may not understand why,  God is leading us in this direction.  He knows the desires of our hearts.  He knows what we have to give, and where we will certainly fail.  He knows me better than I know myself.  When I feel like I can’t sweep up my broken pieces quickly enough to put them back together for others to see,  He asks me to put them in His hands and trust that He will make something beautiful out of my imperfections.  He’s reaffirmed in my heart time and time again that I’m going to have the opportunity to be a mother.  There will be a child who will be lucky enough to have Ryan as their dad.  He’s going to open doors for us to share His love with the birth family of our child.

This morning as tears streamed down my face I felt a peace in all of my insecurities.  I won’t be a perfect mother.  I will mess up.  I have my broken pieces.  I’ll never be rich, I may always be overweight and I’ll probably always question my worth in the eyes of those around me.  Ryan and I are the UnderDogs.  We can’t make this happen.  There are 100 reasons why we should pack it in and give up. But God keeps speaking to me, speaking to us…. pushing us on.  He gives us hope.  He provides such sweet encouragement at just the right time.  When I feel like I’m not enough,  He reminds me that I am His. This is a story that He is writing.   God doesn’t look at the things that man looks at, He sees our hearts.

Sometimes I am so scared that we will fail.  I worry that things won’t play out like we hope they will & that we dream about.  I know that this emotional roller coaster is FAR from over.  There will be good days, bad days and in between days. But for today,  I have peace.  This is God’s story.  Today I found comfort in feeling like the Under Dog.

The Background

I’ve always enjoyed writing.  It’s helped me to process all of the big moments in my life.   I blogged faithful throughout my teenage years and in to my early 20’s.   I slowly lost track of it and stopped.   When Ryan and I started to date,  I picked the blogging back up.   It was so fun for me to write down all of the little things that we did & to capture those feelings of young love.   Once again,  I slowly lost track of time and my blog fell off the face of cyberspace.   As soon as Ryan and I decided that without a doubt ,God was calling us to add to our family through adoption,  that old familiar feeling came back and I wanted to write.  I’ve gone back and forth about whether I wanted to blog or journal.  This is such a personal, emotional journey & I want to be transparent.  I just wasn’t sure I was comfortable posting my transparency for all the world to read about.   After spending some time really thinking & praying about it (and spending my fair share of time exploring other adoption blogs) I decided that it was worth the risk. It was worth being open if one day my words would help another family on their own journey.

So, here I am.  Right smack in the middle of the most incredible journey of my life!  Even though this is a blog (and is meant for sharing thoughts and feelings), I don’t know that I can adequately describe the emotions I feel every single day. When I think about our future as a family of three my heart does flip flops and my mind races. Ryan and I knew early on in our relationship that we wanted to be parents.  We knew we had all of the answers to be the perfect parents (Haha!) and that our kids would be the most well behaved,  perfectly well-rounded, amazing kids around!   We’ve had names picked out since before we were married. Over the last few years we’ve talked about them as though they already exist.  Maybe that’s because they certainly have already found a spot to rest in our hearts.   We weren’t expecting to wrestle with infertility.   My sisters (who are mothers) had no issues.  Honestly,  most of my family members who are parents have become parents by accident.  I figured if we were going to be intentional about it then it would be smooth sailing.  Boy, was I wrong!

I’ve entertained the idea of adoption off and on my entire life.   I thought that I would have a few kids “naturally” with whomever I married and then later down the road we’d also adopt.  When we faced the reality of infertility,  I don’t think we saw adoption as a backup plan, but more a “skip ahead” of the original plan.  Certainly. there was (and is) a grief we experienced when we realized we would likely never be able to conceive.  Once we worked through that time of grieving we both started thinking & praying about Adoption.  We didn’t share these thoughts with each other initially. I think Ryan was afraid it would drag up the hurt I had been working through and I was certainly afraid that he wouldn’t be ready and I would stir up a new kind of hurt.  Plus, we had big plans of moving south!   As you now know, God had other plans for us!

One day while sitting in the park with our best friends we stared to talk about adoption.  This park is the same park the 4 of us have dreamed up and prayed about some really cool things throughout our friendship.  It’s one of our favorite places to just hang out.  As the conversation progressed and excitement filled the air, Ryan and I knew without a doubt that God was using this moment & this place to confirm with each other what we had been feeling independently.  It was time to get serious about starting our family. It was time to get serious about adoption!  I can say without a doubt that God has called us to this journey. It has been confirmed time and again as we take the steps necessary to become parents.

So, here we are.  We’ve jumped in with both feet! We’re working with an incredible agency in Arkansas (that is a God story of its own!).  We’re facing the reality of the hardships in adoption.  Exposing our lives to be picked apart by others who only know us on paper & will determine if we are worthy to parent has been humbling to say the least. Facing the reality of the cost of adoption has also been completely overwhelming.  We’re planning on needing $35,000 to make this happen.  We are by no means rich.  To us, that number seems impossible.  There is no denying that God is working out every detail, even the one that seems impossible.  We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and family!  We’re on our way.

I don’t know if it will happen next month, next year or even beyond.  I do know that God has a plan.  His will and His way is far beyond my own & this is a season of learning to trust.  Every day that we work,  wait and prepare is another day closer to holding our precious baby.  Every day that we wait is another day that we have the privilege of praying for the birth mother & birth father.  It’s another day that we have the opportunity to pray for our sweet baby- that God would protect him/her and that He would mold us in to the parents our child needs.

Waiting is HARD.   But thinking of the first moments with our child makes every single step of the journey more than worth it.

The Lord has done great things for us & we are filled with JOY!  Psalm 126:3