Thursday, July 28, 2011

home study, part 1

Life has gotten back to almost normal in the past couple weeks, so I apologize for not updating the blog.

There hasn't been too much happening except the homestudy. Our lovely social worker Kelly (who is Korean!) came by Monday night for my portion of the study. She basically took the life story I wrote and asked more in depth questions about my background, family, job, and marriage. Kevin's portion is next week, and I'm pretty sure we'll be done at that point.

So, what happens after the homestudy?
Well, nothing will really change on our part. The homestudy just makes the adoption move faster once we choose a referral. If we choose a baby before the homestudy is completed, we are on hold until it's finished. Make sense? I was anxious to get the study completed when we started this process, so I'm naturally looking forward to getting it behind us.

It hasn't been as major as I thought. The thing that is consuming our time and energy is the referral emails. We have gotten several emails with sweet babies, but none that we feel led to pursue. Well, that isn't completely true. There is one baby we might move forward with, but we still aren't sure yet. The deadline for submitting our "yes" is next week. If we decide to go forward, I'll be sure and blog all the details for you. I will say this: Her special need might be fetal alcohol syndrome so we are trying to learn as much as we can about FAS in order to prepare. I'm torn. I love the idea of going after her, though 4 other families have said yes too, but I'm scared of the potential medical risks. The last thing I want to do is make a decision like this off of my own selfishness, but I also don't want to jump into something we aren't prepared for. It's a tough line to walk. You can definitely be praying that get some clarification in the next few days.

Alrighty, well next week will be busy with updates so stay tuned!

Sending Hugs

Friday, July 15, 2011

His mercies are, in fact, new

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
-Lamentations 3:22-23

Yesterday we received the much anticipated call from Holt about Baby. There were three families interested in her, and we knew the other families were just as, if not more, qualified as us. And the committee's decision was to place the sweet baby with one of the other families. That was a crushing phone call to get. Kevin said earlier that day that if we were denied it would feel as though she died. And it did. And it felt like a part of us died too. Once we were alone we pulled over to the side of the road and just cried. We're all about the honesty here. :) We had a ton of people praying for us and we quickly updated them all via text or email about the result. Neither of us was in any kind of good shape to talk to other people. I had to turn my phone on vibrate to avoid all the responses. I was definitely grateful to know people were on our side and immediately offering comfort and support, but honestly all I wanted was to hear someone say Man, that stinks. Of course, our friends and family are too good for that and instead we were fed truth. I cannot thank you all enough for not falling into my selfish little pity party. I always need truth spoken into my life, even when it hurts to hear it.

So where does that leave us today? Well, I can't really speak for Kevin (he's out camping, not with me) but I am about a million times better. I knew I'd bounce back, just didn't know it would be within a few hours. Today was going to be a day out on the town with my sister and I seriously went to bed last night wondering if I'd even be a good hang out person. Turns out, I was! A friend of mine emailed first thing today and asked how I was doing and the Lord immediately brought to mind the Lamentations verse. His mercies are truly new every morning.

I know what we went through is so minor when compared to other situations we know of. Please know that I'm not trying to water those down in any way. For us, this was hard. In a year from now, we may go through something completely devastating and laugh at this. But right now for us, this was the benchmark. Thank you for recognizing that with us. I must say, God did not give me a huge dose of compassion, so it always amazes me when I meet people that are really in tune with how to comfort and read other people. Thank you for comforting us. I think if I had been in your shoes, I would have thought Oh, well they didn't get this kid. No big deal, there's always next time! Thank you for not doing that.

My dad asked me what our next step was. I don't know. We obviously are still walking down the adoption road and have every intention to find another little baby to love on. Maybe that will be this week, maybe not. I said in a previous post that I'd always imagined myself as one to share a pregnancy from the start and I'm going to continue doing that. Once we have another baby to seek out, I'll let ya know. :)

My focus is now on the Christ City Church first annual 5K Orphan Run coming in November. Be on the lookout for more info. It's gonna be great!

Sending Hugs

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

blossoms of hope

First, a story from the book of Numbers.

Aaron’s Staff Buds

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the people of Israel, and get from them staffs, one for each fathers’ house, from all their chiefs according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. Write each man’s name on his staff, and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers’ house. Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, where I meet with you. And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout. Thus I will make to cease from me the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against you."

Moses spoke to the people of Israel. And all their chiefs gave him staffs, one for each chief, according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. And the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. And Moses deposited the staffs before the LORD in the tent of the testimony.

On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.

Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the LORD to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff. And the LORD said to Moses, "Put back the staff of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept as a sign for the rebels, that you may make an end of their grumblings against me, lest they die." Thus did Moses; as the LORD commanded him, so he did.

And the people of Israel said to Moses, "Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the LORD, shall die. Are we all to perish?

That was my quiet time yesterday and I was floored by the beauty of the text. Is that weird?
I know there is probably some deep and really spiritual meaning to this text that only super smart and overly pedantic people know, but for me it was a picture of God bringing life as only He can. From a piece of wood. Dead wood. From dead wood He brought blossoms and fruit! I immediately thought of the cherry blossom tree.

I'm no tree expert, but I'm fairly certain a cherry blossom didn't bloom from Aaron's rod that day. Could be because I've had Asia on the brain and I love Bath & Body Work's cherry blossom lotion (which I wore yesterday) so the cherry blossom tree was on default in this girl's mind.

It was nice to read that passage, which was a new text for me by the way, the day before our Holt interview. It made me think about God not only as the creator of life but also as the Guy that determines where that life lives. And that's what today was about, finding a home for a little baby.

The interview went really well. Basically, she asked questions about our likes, hobbies, plans for childcare, experience with kids, and jobs. There wasn't a right or wrong way to answer her. She explained that her job is to interview all the families and present each family before a committee of 5ish social workers who will then decide which family is best suited for Baby.

I was nervous before the interview. I am flat out anxious now. The next 40 some-odd hours will be excruciating as we wait on an answer.

Our prayer is that Baby will get the home she needs, not the one we want for her (though we'd take that!).

Sending Hugs

Sunday, July 10, 2011

only 21 hours to help

Do you like Thomas Kinkade's artwork? Do you like Christmas? Then I have a deal for you! Please go visit this site and help us bring home our daughter.

Sending Hugs

Friday, July 8, 2011

song of the waiting mother

This is dedicated to all the adopting moms out there. You are a source of encouragement for me!

This poem is from the book Toddler Adoption and it made me teary-eyed when I read it. Though I don't believe all the ideas in the poem apply to me and Kevin, I do empathize with a lot of it. Enjoy!

Song of the Waiting Mother

I'm pregnant, but my tummy isn't growing,
And no one ever calls me "Little Mom."
The public simply isn't overflowing
With questions that I'd handle with aplomb.

There are no special clothes to mark my waiting.
Nobody stops and smiles as I pass by.
The absence of a due date is frustrating
And looking at the nursery makes me cry.

When I'm overdue no one will worry.
The phone won't ring and ring as friends check in.
I can't induce my labor in a hurry,
My new life as a parent to begin.

Adoption is a worrisome endeavor,
And waiting all alone is not much fun.
To be "with child" a year seems like forever.
Dear God, we're ready! Please send us our son!

Sending Hugs

it's erin, from the waiting child program...

Last week I received an email saying that committee was tentatively scheduled for July 14 and we should be expecting a call to schedule our phone interview. Needless to say, my phone has been glued to me all week.

Today was our last day in North Carolina so I was hanging out at a Farmer's Market, waiting on the band's van to be fixed, and my phone rang. This was a surprise for two reasons.
1. Today is Friday. For some reason I assumed that since we had not heard anything up to this point, we would have to wait until Monday before getting a phone call.
2. Yesterday I got a call from an Oregon area code (same as our placing agency) but when I answered it, it was some recording about my last chance to buy insurance.

So my phone rang, and I answer it fully expecting to launch into my "please remove me from your list" speech until I heard, "Hi Malerie, it's Erin from the waiting child program."


We are scheduled for a phone interview Tuesday at 1:30. Thursday is committee and we should know that day if we are the chosen parents. We obviously would love your prayers.

I sat down two days ago and wrote a lengthy blog about fear. It was a great soul bearing moment, but I just couldn't bring myself to post it. Not because I'm trying to hide anything, I just didn't get around to finishing it to share. I tell you this to let you know that we (at least I) need prayer in the area of believing that God will provide for this child. We have a long way to go with fundraising, and we are definitely trying to use all ideas and talents to meet the goal. God called us here, and he will provide. It's just much easier to say that than to believe it most days. Maybe I'll get around to finishing that blog and share it with you later. Until then, please pray with us for needs to be met.

I want to leave you with something fun. While in NC, Kevin took me to Black Mountain where there are super cute shops.

The first store we went into was a kids store and I found the cutest addition for Baby's room.

Thank you all! I am so nervous as I type this just thinking about what a life-changing week next week could be. Smiles.... :)

Sending Hugs

Sunday, July 3, 2011

one strong cloud

Do you know about Cloud 9? It's the strongest cloud ever here at the Huguley home!

We are still riding high off of the referral we received a couple weeks ago. As of today, we have gotten Baby's medical files reviewed (which was GREAT...more on that later hopefully), confirmed our interest to Holt, and filled out a lengthy questionnaire. We received an email from Holt just a couple days ago saying two other families are pursuing Baby as well and they've scheduled committee for July 14.

What's committee and what does that mean for us? Holt will schedule a phone interview with all three families, take that information before a committee of some sort, and decide which family is best suited for Baby. I've been told we should find out if we are the lucky parents the same day as the committee meets. So....that means we could be parents in just 11 days. Wow!

Now I guess you can see why we're still on cloud 9, huh?

It really should go without saying, but we know other families are interested. In the coming week, we plan to read more books (just got 4 more today to read actually), continue watching videos from the International Adoption Agency, and reflecting on our questionnaire answers in preparation for our phone interview.

Pray with us that this sweet (and TOO CUTE) baby finds the perfect home for her. Pray also that we will be as prepared as possible for our interview. That's all we can do on our part; we know God has it all in His hands.

Sending Hugs