Adoption can be hard.

I feel like I have so much to say- but I’m not really sure how to say it.  I try to find joy in the journey no matter the circumstance.  I don’t think anybody can possibly understand what this process is like unless you’ve experienced it.  Even then, I’m sure every story is different. Typically I can be a stressed out ball of “hurry” but still find joy in the midst of the craziness. I can be enveloped by stress, anxiety and exhaustion; but typically joy resides in the deepest recesses of this journey.   I’m not sure exactly why, but today is hard. The excitement is still there but the doubt and stress is hovering over me like a giant storm cloud.  Maybe it’s the lack of sleep, or the sugar detox. (I was serious about my last post.  Ryan and I are literally trying to work our butts off and make big changes!) Maybe it’s my hormones.  Maybe it’s the fact that we’re nearly 6 months in to this journey and the end is nowhere in sight. I can’t quite put my finger on the culprit of this dreary mood that’s taken up residence in my heart today.  All I know is that I want to go home, wrap myself in a blanket on the couch and watch my favorite movies all weekend and avoid the world.  Maybe that’s the introverted side of me speaking up amidst the chaos too!    Alas, our schedule is full!  There will be no blankets and movies for me this weekend!

It’s possible outside stressors are adding to my mood.  We’ve had a lot going on. We’re both working a ton of hours trying to contribute what we can to out find and pay off some bills. I’m prayerfully considering a few potential job prospects. This is really hard. My job has a lot of pros and a lot of cons. If I think about my future and my family, I need to do what’s best. It’s really been weighing heavy on me.

It’s been my goal to be completely transparent with our Adoption story.  For so much of my life I’ve hidden behind a bright, shiny smile and refused to be real about what I was experiencing.  I thought by being transparent in this journey that maybe, one day it would help another adoptive momma through her own story. Selfishly, writing helps me to process.   You probably realize by now that the majority of my entries happen when I’m struggling or tired or confused.  To me,
writing is therapeutic. At one point in my life I wanted to be a writer. I once even wrote a book about a young slave girl escaping to freedom while I was in high school.  But, I have digressed…

I knew adoption would be hard.  I knew it would get messy.  I do think God can use brokenness to form beautiful things.  However, I can’t really believe that this is how He intended for families to be formed.  There’s too much brokenness involved.  I feel like I’m finally feeling all of those things. I find myself grieving for the momma who will give birth to my sweet baby and the profound loss she will undoubtedly experience. I find myself getting lost in my own grief from time to time.  If I had gotten pregnant, we’d be nearing the end of our journey. We would know if we were having a boy or a girl.  We would be working on our nursery.  We’d be parents by Christmas.  In adoption, I don’t even know if we’ll be parents by next Christmas.  The unknown is so hard for me.  It always has been.  This is probably the biggest unknown of my life and having to just trust in the unknown is really hard.  I’m thankful that I’m able to trust the unknown to a known God.  That makes it easier.  But, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t still hard.

At this point it feels like things have slowed down to a crawl on the fundraising end of things because we’ve been so overwhelmed with the paperwork side of it all. Our friends at Sonora’s have been gracious enough to open their restaurant to us for another fundraiser on October 3rd and have told us that we are welcome to plan even more events.  For now, that’s all that is written in stone.   I want to be moving full steam ahead on both ends, but I just can’t keep up.  We have lots of ideas.  We have a few things that are ½ done that we’ll finish up as soon as our home study is finished.  I’m still holding tight to our goal of being finished with fundraising by 2016.  It seems like such a lofty goal.  Maybe even an impossible goal.  We need about $21,000 to be completely finished with fundraising.  But, I know that we serve a BIG God.  It’s a drop in the bucket for him.   As soon as our completed home study is in hand I’ll start working on grant applications that can only be completed with an approved home study.  I’m hopeful that will help move us closer to our goal as well. It makes me crazy that bringing a baby into our family is so expensive. We’ll do what it takes but it’s frustrating. 

So, there you have it- Another update on this ever winding road towards creating our party of 3.  Don’t confuse my gloom with defeat.  I know that this is going to happen. I know that God is leading this journey & guiding our steps.  I knew from the beginning that there would be hard times and moments that I’d want to throw my hands up in defeat.   I know in my heart I’m going to be a momma and Ryan will be a dad.  We’re already at the point where we will sacrifice our sleep, money, time and resources for a baby who may or may not even exist yet.  He/She is worth the fight, the tears, the stress, the anxiety because not only are they our child…but he/she belongs to God.  I can’t want to meet them.  It’s going to be such a sweet, sweet day. It’s going to be SO worth it!

A friend sent me the picture below and I haven’t been able to stop reading it.  It’s been my personal pep talk this week!  Thanks friend!

wonderful mom

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Confessions of an Overweight Woman on the Road to Adopt

We put off our home study for a few months for 2 reasons.  1, we wanted to get a little further down the road with our fundraising goals so that we didn’t have to sit idle with a completed home study that has an expiration date.  I thought it would take years for us to raise the money that we needed.  A home study is good for 2 years.  After 2 years, you have to pay another fee to have it extended for a third year.  After the third year you have to start over.   I wanted to play it smart with the timing of having them both completed around the same time.   The 2nd reason is a little more personal for me.   I was terrified of going to see my doctor and having him fill out a paper that said I was medically “worthy” of being a mom.

To some people, that may seem a bit ridiculous.  Sure, I’m overweight.  I have some BIG things I need to work on in that area & trust me, I’m trying.  I think about it every day. Some days I do awesome.  other days,  I fail and have to pick myself up and try again.   I also have a thyroid disease and anxiety and PCOS/Infertility.  I felt like this medical exam would be the part that would finally kill our dream.  I mean, my own body has spoken.  My body has told me that I’m not capable of carrying a baby (and I translate this at times in to telling me I’m not worthy of being a mom.)

Today was the day that I had to face my 2nd biggest fear in this home study process.  I trudged into my doctor’s office with the form in hand and anxiously waited in the waiting room.   I’ll admit that last night was not fun.   My anxiety won in a BIG way.  I was pretty miserable with thoughts dancing in my head telling me how tomorrow would be the end point in our journey.  I let myself worry so much that it made me physically sick.  My blood pressure was high (which isn’t normal for me…) and I thought to myself, “Yep, this is the first nail.” I talked to the CNP that I regularly see and he asked me about the form.  We talked for a few minutes about what was going on in our adoption process and how life was in general.  Then he said, “Well… that certainly explains the blood pressure being a bit elevated.  You have a lot on your plate!”   Ha ha ha! Yes sir!   I have a TON on my plate these days!   I sat anxiously as he wrote on my paper.  I didn’t think he’d ever finish.   We concluded my appointment and I sulked out of the building.  I didn’t want to look at it until I got to the car.  I wanted to know I was in my own, quiet space if I needed to be.

Can I tell you about the relief I felt when I looked at that paper and he had written, “In my professional opinion there is no medical or psychological reason why Cera wouldn’t be a fantastic candidate to foster or adopt a child.”  I needed that quiet, private space in my car.  Not do mourn, but to be breathe.  Not to try and calm my anxiety, but to pray and thank God for continuing toHe is able carry us through this journey.   He wouldn’t have confirmed this journey time and time again if He wasn’t going to make a way.

I know I need to be better at being healthy.  I’m going to be a momma one day (and I’m praying it’s one day SOON!) I want to be able to run and play and keep up with a busy toddler.  I want to teach my children how to take good care of their bodies. I want to take better care of this vessel that God has given me to use.  So far, I’ve not been so successful.   Getting that paper from my doctor isn’t an excuse to give up on these important goals.  It’s motivation for me to keep pressing.  Keep moving. Keep trying.

I’m still going to struggle with my body image.   I’m still going to face anxiety when I think about birth families viewing our profile book and seeing my photos.  I’m certainly not proud of what I’ve done to this body. All I can do is keep trying to do better & trust that God has a baby for us in spite of my shortcomings and insecurities.

Most importantly,  I know that through this entire process I need to keep TRUSTING.  He hasn’t failed us yet. Even when I feel like I’m not,   HE is Able.

Gatti’s Fundraiser Update

I’ve been sitting here trying to make a mental list of all of the incredible donated baked goods we had at our bake sale yesterday but I don’t know that there’s any way I could remember it all.   The staff at Gatti’s told us that we definitely had the biggest variety in our bake sale they had ever seen.  Thank you to everyone who donated baked goods! We had VERY little leftover and what we did have leftover we donated to Hospice for a fundraiser.  We made sure nothing went to waste.

I’ll be honest and tell you that my feet hurt and my back hurt. I didn’t think it would take so much work to bus tables all day.  Boy, did I not think that one through! Ryan was a trooper and stuck it out all day.  We had several friends and some family who helped us throughout the day.   I am So appreciative of all those who took time out to help!  It made it so I could sit and loaf every once in awhile and visit with people who stopped by!

At the end of a very long, VERY successful day we managed to raise $1603.48 to add to our adoption fund!   I was blown away once I took the time to sit down and count out the money. I mean,   I am constantly surprised at how our friends & family show up time and time again to help us reach our goal.  There have been times in my life where I have doubted whether or not I had anybody in my corner.  I can honestly say that this journey has proven to me time and time again just how fortunate we are to have so many people who love and support us!

In other news, we’ve been working hard to finish up our list of “must have’s” for our home study.   I have a feeling September 27th will be here before we know it! Our schedule is jam packed over the next month, but it will be worth it to be completely finished with our home study.   A completed home study means that once we finish raising the money we need,  we are READY to bring a baby into our home.  I can’t even begin to explain the emotion that stirs up in my heart. Last week we took the plunge and purchased a car seat.  EEK!  It’s one of the requirements for our safety check that will be completed on the 27th.  I’ll be honest, it was weird buying a car seat. I don’t feel like I’m ready or that I “deserve” to have a car seat. I’m not pregnant.  We don’t have a baby out there waiting for us.  I couldn’t bring myself to  go to an actual store and look because that makes it too real.   I know in my heart that this is happening, but I still feel like I need to protect myself.   We still have to buy a crib before the 27th.  I’ve been looking online and doing some research, but we haven’t settled on anything yet.

In other news I managed to finish my most recent term at SNHU yesterday.  Looks like I’ll finish fairly strong with B’s in both classes.   I’ll have a break until the 21st.  I’m SO excited to have a short break.  I need it. Things at work have been way more stressful than usual.  My stress level is at a 10+ and i feel like a few weeks without school will help me manage that stress a little better.   I’m not sure what the solution will be once school picks back up and things start moving closer to us having a baby.   It’s definitely something that Ryan and I have been talking through and praying about.

My mom asked me the other day what our grand total was for fundraising.   I wasn’t honestly sure at that point, so I told her we’d wait until  after the Gatti’s fundraiser and do some number crunching.   So, tonight I did the crunching. To date we have raised:

$13,953.91

I’m still trying to let that soak in.  We started fundraising in late April.  So,  in less than 5 months we are almost 1/2 way to our goal of raising $35,000.  I though it would take years.  We are so humbled.   Thankful.  Overwhelmed.   God is moving.  He is opening doors and moving mountains to make this happen.