10 months!! Oh yes! This month we had to update our USCIS and get fingerprints done again in OKC, time consuming, but it always feels good doing SOMETHING. Makes it feel more real that we are actually going to have a little girl at the end of this. These 10 months have flown by, and we are about 1/3 of the way there, so I am hoping the next 10 months go just as fast. Still praying for her constantly!
9 Months!!! When you carry a child in your womb, that's an important number. It means the waiting is done, and it is time to meet your child. There is nothing like that moment when your baby is born, meeting them for the first time. I know everyone is different, but with each of my children, I can vividly remember the first time I saw them, and I was instantly in love, love so powerful and overwhelming. Kind of crazy, when you don't even know them. When you carry them in your womb, you dream of them, imagine what they are like, but the moment you see them....there is nothing like it. For our adoption, 9 months is not signifcant, just means a month closer, our baby girl is still in my womb, I dream of her what it will be like, but it still seems so far away, I can't even imagine it. But the moment we meet her, see her face to face, I cannot wait for that day!!! The wait times have just increased to 28-34 months. She just keeps getting farther away from us. My prayers are that the wait won't get any longer, but even more so that God will help to trust him for His timing, and take care of His daughter until then :)
So I have been so good the last few months...and then this month, WHAM out of nowhere, an emotional breakdown. I was holding my sweet friend Kristal's baby, Emma, looking at her perfect features, and how much she is loved and cared for, and then started wondering if our daughter is getting cared and loved for. Does she cry in her crib with no one to comfort her? Does she get social interaction during the day, are her needs being met? Does she sit in a yucky diaper all day long? Does she go hungry for long periods of time? All these negative questions assaulted me, and I just broke down. It's one thing knowing that God is in control, and another letting it settle in your heart. I prayed for my girl alot that day :) Maybe it was a day she needed prayer. Maybe it was an important day in her life, her day of birth, or the day her mom had to give her up. Maybe there was a reason God pressed her on my heart. Whatever the reason, I know and believe God is in control. So we will keep on praying for her everyday, and dream about the day we will actually hold her in our arms.
7 months!!!!!! I have been looking forward to this month since we were approved. Because the adoption process takes a lot longer than I anticipated and the wait times have changed, I have been saying we will get our little girl in 2 years for the past year and a half. This month was the month I could FINALLY say we will get her in LESS than 2 years. Unfortunately, although wait times haven't changed officially, a lot of people have been waiting now for 3 years. So I still may say "in 2 years" for another 6 months. I know some people criticize the wait time, and ask why it takes so long. The Philippines are very thorough in the paperwork and the children are really cared for in the orphanages. So when we are matched, I can be insured that the workers took time to match my daughter to our family and she wasn't ripped out of her birthmothers arms unwillingly. I can be insured she was meant for us :) So we will wait for her!!!
A few weeks ago, I was telling Jeff about a blue eyed, blonde hair 16 month old girl in the Ukraine that needed to be adopted and Austin was listening, and he said, "is she from the Philippines?" Me-"no..." Austin-"well my sister is coming from the Philippines." Me-"you may be waiting years for her, we could bring this little girl home in a few months." Austin-"I don't care. We can wait for her. My sister is coming from the Philippines." I love how invested he already is!!!!
So here are the fun things we did this month while we wait for our family to be complete.
The few days before school started, we took the kids to the Aquarium and the Zoo.
First day of school. My Kindergartner and 3rd grader!
A fourth of the way there!! (and yes, I skipped blogging 5 months, our summers are more than just a little crazy!)
Austin wrote our whole family with chalk, and I love that he included his sister. She is always a part of our thoughts and prayers. She is around 6 months old right now, which is absolutely my favorite age. Our family ALMOST complete! We just need our beautiful Filipina baby girl!
This is such a random picture, but it was what I woke up to one morning, and I never want to forget what it's like to have my little ones at the house. And in a couple of years, it might be barbie dolls, or littlest pet shop, or whatever girls play with these days.
So many things going on this summer...so many pictures...
Happy Birthday, America!
Austin's last season of coach pitch baseball! These kids are friends on the ball field and at church!
COUSINS!! Kailynn cannot wait for her girl cousin! And she is hoping she will have curly hair like herself!
VBS, GO BOYS!
My sweet teen got married!!
So many fun, wonderful moments this summer. I blog so I remember this moment of time. This moment while we wait for our forever girl!
Time is just flying by, 3 boys know how to keep me busy!!! I wish there was more to write, more to say....With the risk of being judged, it is sometimes easier not to think of her at all, then to know I am not there for her now, and we still have awhile to wait. When I see little babies, that would be about her age, I just get sad. So no dreams this month, no reminiscing on what she might be doing right now, I don't want to think about it at all. But I WILL pray, that's all I can do, pray for my little girl, pray that God protects her sweet heart, I pray that she is making strong attachments now, so that she will know how to attach to us. Pray that she is being loved!!!!!! And now I am tearing up, so I better stop thinking about it....
Just a few pictures of our family now, and what we do while we wait....
Casen trying to give Austin a kiss during Track & Field Day...
Brenden just finished his Pre-K year, sad day for me. Jaddon and him were best friends!
Austin finished his second grade year, and made all A's!!!
A good friend turned 30, and we ALL celebrated. It's actually Mia's mom, our daughter's future bff!!!
Okay, well, I HAD a dream. I dreamed of our little girl. I dreamed she was 1 year old, and we had just 1 more year to wait for her. She had cute little pigtails, you know the kind that just sprout on top of the head, and she had really chubby cheeks. She was absolutely precious! And then you know when you wake up from a dream, and it feels real, for a few minutes anyways. Those few minutes were so wonderful. I have had dreams about my children before, with each pregnancy. They were always boys in my dreams, so I got that part right, but they never actually looked like they did in my dream. Probably because it was just a dream. So I know that I will probably be waiting more than a year for her, and that she may not have those chubby cheeks and cute pigtails, but I also know she is more than just a dream. She is real, and she is living somewhere in the Philippines, and one day, we will meet her, and love her, and bring her home, and it will last way longer than just a few minutes.
Today marks 3 months into the wait. We still don't have a name for her. I am only in the C's. Jeff is convinced we will name her a D name to keep with the pattern...since we didn't name our kids A, B, C on purpose, I have no desire to name her a D name. This might be a 2 year debate ;)
While we wait, we live......
Date night with the boys!
Austin FINALLY lost his top 2 teeth, and he looks AND talks like a completely different child!
Easter, inside because of the monsoon, we were having....
The boys are posing by the Philippine flag. Their sister is never far from their thoughts, and she is prayed for at every meal by one of the boys!
Baby Girl, We are now 2 months into the wait. I wish I could see you, I wish I knew how old you are right now, I rest in the fact that God knows exactly where you are, and He loves you more than I do. Since the wait is 2 to 2 1/2 years, and you will be about that age, I'm just imagining that you are about as old as our "wait." I have a friend who has a daughter about what your age might be (you guys will probably be best friends one day), and everytime I hold her girl, I can't help but think of you. Who is holding you? Are being taken care of? Are you smiling yet? Do you sleep well at night? Do you like to be held? We are already so in love, and we haven't even met you :) We decided to name you now so that we can pray for you specfically, instead of call you future daughter or sister. Maybe this time next month, we will have a name.... We hung the Philippine Flag up where you can see it everytime you walk upstairs. Austin and Brenden think about you everytime they go to play. You are already so much a part of this family. Not much has been going on since the last time I wrote so I just leave you with a couple of pictures of your brothers at this time.....
For some weird reason, I like to equate this adoption process to pregnancy. For the last year, it feels like we were "trying" to get pregnant, and now it has happened. The 2 blue lines have appeared. I am jumping up and down with excitiment, just like I did with my boys. Intercountry Adoption Board has approved us!! We are officially on the List of Approved Applicants. We will get a girl between the ages 24-36 months. Our official approval date is February 2, 2011. We are already a month closer. As of right now wait times are averaging 24-30 months. This wait time could get shorter or longer.
We had the opportunity this last month to visit Cebu City and Manilla, Philippines. We went there for an International Fellowship Meeting of Pastors and Missionaries. While there, I was so encouraged spiritually. I loved seeing the passion everyone had for God, and it challenged my own relationship with Him. But also, while I was there, I fell in love with the Philippines. The people, the country, the spirit. We picked that country to adopt from because it was the only country we had total peace with, and the adoption program was very stable. Now, if you ask me, why the Philippines, itt's because I LOVE the Philippines. Our daughter will always know where she came from, the most generous, giving, humble group of people I have ever met, and I hope we teach her to keep that spirit from her country alive here! I already miss being there, being around the people there.
We also saw some pretty heartbreaking things.... kids sleeping on the sidewalk, begging on the streets, including a deformed little girl, walking in the middle of the crazy busy traffic, begging. That's what she does day in and day out. Do the people that take that money from her, even love her? I saw tons of tin huts, and young women prostituting themselves out to old white men. My heart breaks for these people, and I pray that though this life is hard from them, they somehow will hear about the love of a Savior! I also thank God that he will use me and my family, to save one child from that life.
Somewhere out there is our little girl. I pray for her mom, I pray that someone is showing her love. I pray she knows about Jesus, and the sacrifice He made. I pray for the people that our now taking care of our daughter. I pray they love her. And I pray for our daughter. I pray she grows healthy and happy wherever she is, until it's time for her to come home.
I found this post it note on Austin's bed. That pretty much sums up how we are all feeling right now. It has been 5 months today since we submitted our paperwork, and we are still waiting for approval from the Philippine ICAB. (Average is 1-3 months) We found out that they want us to work on something, even though we already meet their requirements. Adoption is unpredictable, one of the first things I have learned. So we are working on it...I was hoping we would be approved by the time we traveled to the Philippines in a few weeks, but that doesn't look like that will happen. I just wanted to KNOW that we were going to be approved for a girl, but insteading of KNOWING, I will have to trust the One who does know :) We still live our life, and alot has happened in the last month. I am hoping my next post will be announcing that we are officially on the wait list!!!!