The land of “Why”….

I am more than ok with the idea of Adoption.  There are so many children in our nation and in this world who are already inneed a stable, loving home environment. I have no doubt that Ryan and I can provide that.  Most of the time, I’m even alright with the crazy process that we have to walk through. Today isn’t one of those days. Typically there is an excitement in my heart for what will one day “be”.  Today there is hurt & frustration.  Today is a day that I’ve really struggled with “why?”

The land of “why?” is a dangerous place to be.  One can easily get lost there and lose sight of the end result. Having a child.  Being a family of 2 grow into a family of 3. …Being a mom.  I don’t know why it’s so important to me to be a mom, all I know is that it must be a desire that God has put into my heart.  I can’t imagine Him putting this desire in my heart and then it never coming to be.  Yet, admittedly, some days it still feels impossible.  The end result is what makes the craziness of the process worth it. Dreaming about that first moment we are matched… and the first moment we meet our child makes every single day on this roller coaster adventure worth it. It even makes the hard days like today worth it.   I try not to let myself get too lost in the why. I need to know that I’ll quickly find my way back.  I know I just need to write it out of madoption1e.  Writing is on one of the ways God has given me to process my emotions. I guess that’s why I’m here.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why Adoption has to be so difficult and so overwhelmingly expensive for middle class America. Over 60% of couples consider adoption, yet less than 2% actually adopt because of the expense involved.  Well-intentioned people talk to me nearly every day about a woman who is expecting a child and just “doesn’t want it”.  They tell me about babies that they know who were born addicted to drugs and are living in sub-par conditions at best.  I hear stories of grandparents being overwhelmed while raising 3, 4, 5… sometimes even more of their grandchildren and then finding out another is on the way.

He has a plan. I do believe that these stories have contributed to me having some terrible anxiety attacks because at this point, my hands are tied to the process.  There isn’t really anything I can do.  My heart is breaking and there isn’t anything we can do because we don’t have the money to do what’s needed.   Most often, the children I hear about are still with parents and guardians who have custody, so my heart can’t even consider bringing them into our family.

I don’t need to have the experience of having a baby grow inside of me. I don’t need to share my DNA with another human.  I just want to be able to give the love that I have welling up inside of my heart to a child who needs to be loved by a mother and father who would do anything to love and protect them.   I want so desperately to be a mother to a child who needs me just as much as I need and want them.  Why does this process have to be SO long, SO hard and SO expensive when there are babies and children out there RIGHT NOW who need to be loved…and children who need a family? There are families who are waiting to love those children. We are one of them.

People have judged us for our decision to adopt through a private agency rather than going through foster care.  I think foster care is a wonderful, beautiful thing.  Maybe one day that will be the direction we feel God calling us to.  But for now, it isn’t.  It was an extremely difficult decision to make, but I know that at this point in our lives we are on the path that we’ve been called to.  We are where we need to be.

Love,

Cera

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What a difference 6 months makes!

It’s amazing how much our lives have changed in the last six months.    In February of this year Ryan and I were actively planning out how we wermanateese going to be ready to move to Florida this year.  We had every intention of quitting our jobs, packing up our house and moving to the gulf coast.  We were certain that once we got to Florida and had established ourselves in our new jobs that we would begin the adoption process from our new home in the sunshine state.   I love the ocean. I wanted to be the “Manatee whisperer” and live (what I thought was) my dream!  The sound of the waves and the salty breeze gives me a peace that I can’t explain.  I was willing to do anything in my power to make it happen this year. We had met with a realtor during our last visit.  She began actively sending us listings of homes in our price range. (She still sends them….she isn’t giving up, neither am I!  Haha!)

Fast forward just 2 short months and we found our plans completely wrecked by God’s plan for our life. We knew without any shadow of doubt that God was calling us to add to our family through adoption.  He didn’t want us to wait until we moved to Florida. He wanted us to start the journey now.  We couldn’t argue with what we knew and felt in our hearts.  It was just too clear.  We were sitting at our favorite park with our best friends talking about life and enjoying the warmer than average April day.  We hadn’t really talked to anyone about our change of heart.  We were nervous and scared and overwhelmed with our decision. Then suddenly, it just spilled out.  Without warning, we laid out what had been on our hearts to our closest friends.  From that moment on… the momentum has steadily been picked up the pace.

I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we started this journey.  I knew it would be hard.  I knew there would be days where I might think about changing my mind because it was just too overwhelming and difficult.  I knew there would be tears and obstacles and people who didn’t support us in our decision to grow our family.   More than all of that, I knew that I wanted to be a mother and Ryan wanted to be a father.  I knew deep down in my soul that God was calling us to this journey. It was both terrifying and exciting.  But, we put our first foot out, hand in hand, and started walking.

Over the last few months we’ve had countless people join us in our journey.  We’ve had people join hands with us and walk beside us.  We’ve had people step in and fight for us when we were overwhelmed & broken down by what seems to be a broken & flawed system.  People we have never met haveencouraged us and loved on us.  Ryan and I were talking the other night about how amazing it has been to have people love us and support us. The support has come from some of the most unexpected people and places.  It’s been nothing short of incredible.

So, here we are on the cusp of our next BIG step.  We’re so close to reaching our first big goal.  In 6 months we needed to raise $8,200 to be able to make our first payment and sign our contract with Abba.  The cost of adoption is staggering.  I don’t agree with the astronomical expenses involved, but I can’t change the system.  At least, not yet!  $35,000 is a big number, but it really wouldn’t matter to us if the number was $100,000. We would do everything in our power to make it happen.   You can’t put a price on a life.   Our child is worth every ounce of effort, every tear and every single dollar.  I believe with the fundraisers we have scheduled & currently going on that we will meet that first goal in early August.   Can we say freak out?!

I’ll admit I’ve struggled with doubt throughout this process.  I’ve talked about some of that throughout this journey.  I’ve doubted every step of the way that the finances would pull togetherin enough time to make the first payment, and here we are.  The thought of having to do it all over again not once, not twice, but nearly 3 times is scary.  It’s overwhelming.  We have been so encouraged and blessed by your generosity!  We know that this is the path God has called us to.  I think I struggle and doubt because I feel unworthy of the generosity that has already been shown to us.  I feel unworthy of the calling God has placed on me, on us, to be parents to this child that God has already started to grow in our hearts.

I didn’t know it was possible to miss someone so much that I haven’t even met yet.  They may not even be conceived at this point, but I miss the feeling of rocking them and cradling them in my arms.  I worry about them having what they need both in their momma’s womb and in our house.  Will my embrace and my love be enough to comfort their hurting hearts when the tough questions come?  I let myself travel down the road of “what if’s” way too often.  I need to make myself stop… and trust.  Trust in the miracle of the story that God’s writing.

We’ve made it this far because of you allowing God to workthrough your generosity.   We’re ready for this! We hope that you’re ready to keep writing this story right beside of us.

Love,

Cera

Current Fundraisers:

  1. Damsel in Defense – mydamselpro.net/brittney    Be sure to click on our party, “wymerpartyof3” whenHOPE ordering!  We’ll receive 25% of sales from this party.
  2. Longaberger 1999 Edition “Traditions Generosity Basket” Picnic Basket Basket is Valued at $100.  Winner will be drawn at the end of the rummage sale!
  3. Rummage Sale! August 7-8th at Calvary Chapel in Portsmouth.   Let us know if you have donations!  Drop off times and dates are being posted on facebook!
  4. T-Shirts! We have the old and the new!  We’ll only be selling the old shirts in Heather Grey and Red.   Old shirts are $15.   The new shirts are Black with a Neon Rainbow logo.   Those shirts are $18
  5. http://www.youcaring.com/ryan-cera-wymer-366061 is our crowd funding website that you can make donations to us at any time! 

Today was a good day

You guys blew the Sonora’s fundraiser out of the water!! We really have the most amazing friends and family. I don’t think I can put in to words how awesome today was- so I stole some photos from Facebook to share.  
Martin told us that it was his busiest Saturday ever…. And one of his busiest days! We’ll find out tomorrow how much was raised, but honestly I am already feeling like a million bucks!  
    
    
   
We are so blessed! 

Titles are hard, Admitting your weakness is even harder.

The last few weeks have proven to be some of the most stressful times in my life.  Not only are we in the midst of this beautiful (yet at times overwhelming) adoption adventure,  I’m also a full time student,  work a very stressful full time (plus!)  job, and stay involved with activities and groups at our church.  These things are all so incredibly important to me, but I pushed my limits and have paid for not listening to my body.  The stress (I believe) has caused my thyroid levels to freak out which in turn has caused some not so wonderful symptoms to pop up. Unfortunately, those pesky symptoms (heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, etc.)  forced me into a few unwanted visits to the Emergency Room. When your body screams at you like that..  the anxiety kicks in which only exacerbates the situation. Fun times!

Ugh.

I have a horrible fear of all things hospital related and landing myself in the ER twice in 2 weeks is not exactly my idea of a good time.  I’ve decided that I would really like to avoid a third visit.. so I’m trying to slow things down a bit.  Recognizing my own limits isn’t something I’ve been good at until I surpass them.  I’m learning to work on it,  promise!  This whole ER thing really cramps my style.

Since all of this has started happening,  It’s really renewed my motivation (and Ryan’s) to get healthy.   I have always promised myself that I would be the fun mom who went on adventures with her kids and could keep up with whatever activities that they enjoyed.   Let’s hope that this was the kick in the pants we both needed to recommit long-term and really make the BIG changes we need to make.

In the midst of all of this craziness I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “Grace”.   Webster’s defines grace as “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification”.  I feel like through this process we have definitely received grace from God.  I certainly can say that it is especially true in my case.   (I’ll let Ryan speak for himself.)  Throughout this adoption journey I have had this sense of urgency to do whatever I could do as fast as I could possibly get it done and then move on to the next step.  I know without an ounce of doubt that God has called us to adoption.  I can count on one hand how many times I’ve felt this sure about something… and I’d probably still have a finger or two left to use later in life!  With the sort of confirmation that we have experienced… I have wanted to work as hard and as fast as I could to make it happen.  Part of my work ethic is because I want to see our baby and hold him/her as soon as humanly possible.   To do that,  we need to have the money in place.  The other part of my urgency is because I want to do a good job and “pull my fair share of the weight”  to “help” God make it happen.

Wait.

Hold up….

I know in my heart that God is doing this.  It’s not Ryan’s incredibly good looks or my awesome people skills! (HAHA!)  It’s not my ability to write a blog or Ryan being the best delivery boy around.   It’s God.  He is doing a work that I can’t understand & that I can’t keep up with. Trust me, I’ve been trying! (Haha!) I’m certainly not going to sit around and just watch Him move.  I know that He is using us in the process…we need to be involved. However, my panicked thoughts have included things like: “Am I doing enough?  Am I working fast enough?  What if I’m not working hard enough and we fall short and miss our opportunity?”

I know that’s not how it works.   I know God is in control. I know that this will happen in HIS time and not mine.  I think that the enemy has been working overtime to invade my mind and push me to work harder and faster than my body was capable of instead of trusting in the truth of what I know God has promised to us.  I know that I will be a mother.  Ryan will be a father… and T-bird will be knit together in his/her birth mother’s womb at just the right time.  I need to trust Him. I need to listen to Him. God’s got this.  Right when my stinkin’ thinkin’ starts to get the best of me…  He sends such sweet reminders of His promises for our life and for our family.

Tonight,  God sent one of those sweet reminders to us in a completely overwhelming and unexpected way. I can’t stop crying when I think about it.  The details aren’t for the blog.. but for my heart & for my spirit… it was such an amazing reminder that God spoke this Adoption story into our hearts.  He is faithful. He is good.  He WILL make a way.

We are so undeserving of His love and the love of our friends, family & even complete strangers.  I don’t know how we ever got so lucky!  Thank you friends.  Thank you family.  Thank you strangers who have stepped up to the plate and helped someone you don’t even know.

Most importantly, Thank you, Lord.

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What’s In a Name?

Ryan and I have talked about our children as if they already exist since we were married.  Maybe it started even before we got married?!  I don’t remember what we called our theoretical son (poor imaginary kid…), but our daughter was always Lyric.  I heard that name while in high school and instantly fell in love with it.  I love music.  I love to sing. My baby girl would be the song in my heart. Perfecto!   It was unique without being so different that she would get made fun of at school.  I was sold.  Ryan liked it from the first time he heard it too. (His first suggestion for a girl’s name was Belinda….as in Belinda Carlisle) Her middle name will be Michelle after one of my very best friends who passed away several years ago.  Michelle and I had often talked about how she didn’t think she’d ever have children of her own, so I promised I would name my daughter after her. I honestly couldn’t think of a more beautiful soul to name my daughter after.   I had always hoped Michelle would know her namesake…now I have hope that one day they will know each other in Heaven.

We have dreamed about who our daughter would be, and prayed for her as if she were in the other room.  I’ve occasionally let myself wonder if other couples do this before they have children, then I decided that I probably didn’t want to know the truth of just how crazy we are! Ha!

A few months ago we heard another name.  A “T” name for a girl that we absolutely fell in love with.  It met the same “important to me” criteria:  It’s unique, but not so different that our poor kid will get made fun of for her name and the actual meaning of the name is solid.   So, poor little Lyric lost her first name and now she is referred to as “T—“ around our house.   We still dream about who she will be and we pray for her often.   No, we won’t tell you what that “T” name is. Sorry, not sorry!

Boys.  Boys are hard. At least boy names are hard.   When we get really overwhelmed with “the process” of adoption, talking about names gives us some relief from the stress.  It reminds us that all of the work, tears, frustration and stress about money will be worth it because this child is coming and he or she will definitely need a good name!  It’s fun to talk about.  It’s even fun to pick on Ryan about his name choices.  This man whom I love with all my heart seriously wanted to name OUR SON….. Jefferson Starship.

Uh, no.  Thanks for your input babe!  (haha!)

We thought we had decided on the name “Brody”.  We talked about Brody and Lyric for quite awhile.  Then we talked about Brody and “T—“ but then I ruined Brody by looking up what it meant.  Brody means “ditch”. Ugh. Ryan ruined Brody by insisting his middle name should be Amadeus. (lol… he cracks me up!)  It’s important to me that our son/daughter will have a name with strong meaning behind it.  I don’t know why that’s so important… but it is.  So, Brody’s out.   W’ve talked and threw out some names…. then Tobias was the next one to kind of stick. I think Toby is cute?  It has a good strong meaning behind it. Ehh, maybe?   Another “T” name….  Let’s just call this baby T-bird! Then Toby lost steam. Tobias is out. We’ve tossed around another 15 or 20 names.  Last night another name came up that is kinda sorta sticking…but coming up with a middle name for this new name is proving exceptionally difficult. I’m thinking this new name won’t stick either.

(Helpful Hint:  When deciding your future child’s name… say “first, middle,last names”  together in a stern voice (aka mom voice) .. and see if it has a good flow. If not,  back to the drawing board! Haha!)

I guess the topic of this post in particular means I’m stressed out.  It’s finals week for me, we have a TON of work ahead of us for our home study and my plate is completely overloaded at work.  I know that this will pass. I know that this temporary stress will be SO worth it…. but I needed to get lost in the moment of something fun! What could be more fun than talking about what you’ll name your child?  I know we don’t have to decide today.  I know we may change our mind the moment we lay eyes on our precious baby.  But it’s fun to dream!  It’s fun to talk it out.  …It might even be a little fun to make fun of your husband who wants to name his son Jefferson Starship!

Do any of you have any awesome boy names you want to throw our way? Leave it in the comments! Our name criteria is this: 1.  It needs to be something unique- but not so unique that teachers will never be able to pronounce their name correctly.  2.  The name needs to have a solid meaning behind it.” Feel free to share! We’d love to hear from you!