Sunday, June 19, 2011

the greatest (potential) gift

I'm not pregnant.

I have always imagined that I would be the type of girl to, once I was pregnant, climb on my roof, megaphone in hand (can't neglect my cheer background), and scream the good news to anyone in a five mile radius. I know lots of people don't subscribe to that mindset because they want to make it through the first trimester knowing everything is okay before making the big announcement. After all, if you miscarry after telling the world you're pregnant, you then have to face the world and talk about the miscarriage. I get it. But still, I've always pictured myself wanting to tell anyone and everyone. That feeling only intensified the longer Kevin and I tried to get pregnant. I mean, there comes a point in the land of infertility that you will celebrate just about any form of good news, especially the ultimate gift of a pregnancy.

With that said, I now give you our news. And I give it to you knowing that we very well may have to retract this statement and face you all with bad news later. I'm willing to take that risk.

We have picked a baby to adopt!!

She is so adorable that words just can't describe her. And I'm sure it's illegal for me to show you her picture, so you'll just have to trust me on this.

We got a referral email Tuesday, the first email from Holt with Korean babies. I cautiously opened it, having convinced myself that either 1) there were no girls listed or 2) the medical needs would be so severe that we wouldn't be able to take her.

Not true. God is so funny when He proves me wrong time and time again.

There were four babies listed, 3 girls and 1 boy. Of the three baby girls, we chose two that we were interested in, requested their files, reviewed them, and picked one to pursue.

I feel full with joy. I think I've told every human that would listen to me about our potential match. I guess this is what it feels like to be pregnant, huh? I have these crazy emotions of happiness, fear, anxiety, thankfulness, and about 26 others too.

So what's next?

From what I understand, if we're the only family that requested her, which is doubtful, she's ours. As long as we pass our homestudy, of course. If there are other families that want her, we have to go to committee and have the agency match which family is best for the baby.

We selfishly ask that you join us in praying for favor, but more importantly that this baby girl finds the best home for her. We just want it to be with us. :)

Sending Hugs (maybe sooner than we thought!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

watermelon thoughts

beach, grill outs, tanning (or burning), lemonade, sleeping in and then staying up late, windows down, AC breaking down, sun dresses, flip flops, family time, pedicures, and WATERMELON

These are summer necessities for me. I actually have watermelon growing in my garden this year! I've heard watermelon needs a lot of room to grow and my little garden is definitely not ready for that. We'll see what happens. :)

I also have some watermelon FOR YOU in my guest room!

Remember Kelly, the lady that makes the Dorkie Doors? I mentioned her in a previous post about us ordering a custom owl decoration from her.

Well, you may recall me saying Kelly was donating a piece for the auction.

This is a precious watermelon slice door hanger. It's just in time to display for summer and your 4th of July celebration. Kelly does such great work and I know you will love this item. Bid away!

We are still gathering items for our auction in preparation for the next bill headed our way, which I hear is a whopping $13,000. Wowzers. Anyway, I have a couple of good ideas for big fundraisers, but we will still have items here to bring in a little money until the biggies. My Facebook has an adoption auction photo album that displays all the items left.

So, where are we in the process? I've gotten that question a lot lately. We have submitted all the homestudy papers and are waiting on interviews. My guess is it will take until the end of the summer to complete that part. After homestudy, we go to Holt (our placing agency) and get ready to go get Baby Huguley. Who is she? We still don't know. We are getting emails with pictures and info on some kids, but none have been Korean girls. In fact, I'm not sure any have even been Korean. We get an email about once a month, but none of them have had our baby listed. And the waiting continues.

The good news is we still have plenty to do in preparation so the waiting doesn't feel stagnant. We have both been busy with adoption stuff and normal life stuff. Just call me The Energizer Bunny because I haven't stopped moving YET. School might be out for the summer but dance team and grad school are in full force. So, my time has been consumed with homework and attempts at cleaning. Oh, and P90X. My grad school buddies have been so sweet to ask about our adoption and buy t-shirts from us. I have learned that not a lot of people know anything about adoption, and I've found myself answering the same questions over and over again. With that in mind, I thought I'd take some time to answer those questions here for anyone else that's interested.

1. Why are you adopting?
This is kind of a two fold answer. First, we are called to adopt. Since before we were married, we knew we would adopt. What we didn't know what WHEN we would do it; naturally, we assumed it would be after biological children. That brings me to the second reason: we haven't been able to have children and God has confirmed to us that physically birthing a child is not the only way to become a parent. Our adoption dreams are happening sooner than we had ever hoped!

2. Why aren't you adopting from the US? We have homeless babies here.
Yes, that has been said to me. I was slightly in shock when I heard it, but it is a valid question.
In order to answer this, I have to start with this scripture, which has become SUCH a recurring truth in my life.
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. -Proverbs 16:9

When Kevin and I first talked about adoption, which was while we were dating, I was pulled toward China and Kevin was pulled toward Africa. As God would have it, refer to above scripture, once we started researching companies to use we started to feel the domestic pull. That only confused us more. Here we had thought international adoption for years, and now, all of the sudden, domestic was on our hearts. There were several things we liked about domestic, but for whatever reason we could not get a peace about it. At all. Period. And I mean we tried to be blind and deaf to what God was telling us but, as you know, ignoring Him is impossible. I would love to go into more detail about how God spoke to use but I'm not sure I could write it and do it justice. I'll just say that we had about 7 families, unknown to each other, come to us over the course of about 3-5 weeks to caution us or tell us other countries/companies to consider. Some of those families didn't even know we were adopting. 'Nuf said.
Which leads to the next question...

3. Why South Korea?
As I said before, Kevin and I both had our own draws, China and Africa. Obviously, we landed on neither of those. In the land of international adoption, and a lot of people told us this, you have to research each country's requirements. Without going into all the boring detail, the basic requirements are age, salary/money, weight (sometimes), marriage length, and children in the home. Once you navigate through all that, you're only left with a few options to pick from. For us, it was Korea that won the battle, and we could not be more thrilled.

4. How much is it?
From my understanding, about $15-20K.

5. Why is it so expensive?
I have no idea, honestly. The money we've paid so far makes sense. Once we get to Holt with the big bucks I'll need more education. I'm sure some of it is court/attorney costs, but other than that I have no idea. In fact, I think travel expenses are separate from the $13K we will owe. Oh, me.

6. When will you get her?
I can only base our experience off of what our friends did, and their process was a year. That means, if the timeline is the same for us, we will be getting her around March or April 2012. :)

7. Do you know who she is yet?

8. When will you know?
Maybe tomorrow, maybe in a year. It all depends on when the referral email comes to us with the picture and info of the girl we want to pursue. It's all in God's hands.

9. Will you adopt more babies while you're over there?
Ha! Oh, you're serious. I'm gonna say no. If you've seen my house, you know that's a wise answer.

10. Will she ever be able to speak English?
I'm kidding. I haven't gotten that question. He he he!

If you have any questions for us about this journey, I'd be glad to answer them. This really has been on-the-job-training for us and we once asked the very questions we're being asked. I'm still trying to answer some of them.

Please keep us in your prayers, but also keep Baby H in your prayers. I've been especially convicted about praying for her mom and family and their safety and protection.

Sending Hugs