Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let the Fun Begin!

We are at a point in our adoption process where we just get to relax and have a little fun. Our home-study is completed and we are just waiting for our referral so we can take it easy for a while. We had planned on purchasing one or two items a month over the next several months so we don't have to buy everything all at once. After last week, we especially felt like we should start getting prepared:

It's a long story, but we almost ended up getting a baby the week of Christmas. In the end, the birth-mother chose a family who lived closer to her geographically (she was in another state), but we were thisclose to welcoming a baby into our family. It would have been amazing and I still wonder what life would be like with that little girl, but I definitely feel like it worked out how it was meant to and I feel very much at peace with it all. I will just continue to trust that God has a plan and has picked out the perfect baby to be a part of our family. None the less, it got Lance and I thinking that we should probably start getting prepared.

While we were in Ft. Collins, we got to make our first few purchases. They have a Babies R Us, so my sister-in-law and I decided to check it out the day after Christmas. BRU just happened to be having a killer sale and many of the things I liked were 40% off, so we ended up being able to get three things with the money I've been setting aside for baby items. Here are pictures of our new and exciting purchases:
































This is definitely part of the experience that I don't want to miss out on. Obviously, we don't have a "due date", but we know that we will get our baby eventually, so we can just enjoy preparing for baby :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh So Pretty!

We went to my brother and sister-in-law's for Christmas and had a great time. We sang Christmas Carols around the piano on Christmas Eve and we opened presents and had a beautiful meal with family on Christmas day.

Jen's Mom on the piano, and John on the guitar:

















This is my sister-in-law's magazine worthy Christmas table decor:















































Jen is just so crafty! Everything turned out perfect!!
















And Christmas wouldn't be complete without a little snow. This picture was actually taken at my parents house, but the view at John and Jen's was similar:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quick Update

Thanksgiving was wonderful and I will post with pictures soon, but for now, I'm just going to give a quick adoption update.

Completed:
Applied with agency (this was a lot of work in itself)
Applied with His Hands Taiwan
Requested extra copies of birth certificates and marriage license
Mailed copies of birth certificates and marriage license to agency
Colorado Fingerprinting/Background Check
Child proofed house
Made any changes to house necessary to be acceptable to social worker
Completed all 3 meetings with social worker
Leslie-Physical form completed and all but one lab test done
Started 8 hour "With Eyes Wide Open" online training
Lance-got physical and lab work done
Leslie- got final lab test done

Here is what we have left:
Complete 8 hour "With Eyes Wide Open" training
Complete 16 hour Core training
Complete First Aid/CPR/Infant Care class
Get federal finger prints done
Go Pick Up Our Baby!!!

The list keeps getting shorter. We have decided to submit an application to another ministry in Taiwan (Home of God's Love), just as a back up plan. One thing we have been told several times through the process is to open as many doors as possible because you just never know what is meant to happen. I have requested the application and we are working on getting it ready to send off. It should be completed and notarized by the first of next week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Little Woozy...

Today, Lance and I went in for our TB Skin tests which is one of the requirements when adopting. I don't do well with blood-tests, etc. and today was no exception. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of getting a TB Test done, they inject fluid into the top layer of skin which makes a nice little bubble in your arm. I chose to go first because I knew it would not be wise to watch them inject Lance and then have to step up.
Unfortunately, there were a couple of decisions I made that caused my body to fail me. The first mistake I made was not going to the appointment on a full stomach; the second mistake was looking at the previously mentioned bump. Needless to say, I turned as white as a ghost. Lance knows that I tend to get queezy when it comes to these type of things, and was chuckling at my pasty, clammy, nauseated self. He knows that I will regain my color eventually and there's no need to worry. I did give the nurse a scare however. She was rushing around to find an ice pack and juice in hopes of keeping me from ending up on the floor(yes, this has happened to me before, but I'll save that for another time). After some time passed, I decided to try my luck at walking. I made it as far as the waiting area and had to sit down again to avoid involuntarily laying down. After another few minutes, Lance and I made it to the car and things started to get better. I feel fine now, but I can tell you that it wasn't the most enjoyable experience I've ever had. The good news, Lance and I can both laugh about it and maybe you will too :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

'Tis the Season

Well, the holiday season is officially upon us. This is a very busy (and sometimes stressful) time of year, but it is definitely my favorite. I have been trying to make any preparations I can ahead of time since we are hosting Thanksgiving this year. Today, I am going to buy the rest of the supplies I need for the place-cards and I made a practice apple pie last night since it's been awhile since I've made one. I am anxious about the preparations, but so excited to have most of the family together.
From time to time, I start to feel sorry for myself because we've been through a few holiday season's hoping for a baby only to be dissappointed. I realized, in light of recent events, that I need to be thankful and cherish all the blessings I have received. And also, I need to keep reminding myself that God has a plan. I may not always understand his plan, but he knows best and he loves us all very much and only wants the best for us. Please pray for the Fleener family as they deal with the loss of their little boy. And, please pray for all of the orphans around the world who do not have a family to share this season with. There are so many who need our prayers; let's not forget about them.

"He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment." Deuteronomy 10:18

Monday, November 9, 2009

Adoption Update

We had our home visit last week and I feel like we are finally getting close to having the preliminary steps completed.

Here is what we have accomplished:
Applied with agency (this was a lot of work in itself)
Applied with His Hands Taiwan
Requested extra copies of birth certificates and marriage license
Mailed copies of birth certificates and marriage license to agency
Colorado Fingerprinting/Background Check
Child proofed house
Made any changes to house necessary to be acceptable to social worker
2 meetings with social worker
Leslie-Physical form completed and all but one lab test done
Started 8 hour "With Eyes Wide Open" online training

Here is what we have left:
Lance-get physical and lab work done (11/23)
Leslie- get final lab test done (11/23)
Complete 8 hour "With Eyes Wide Open" training
Complete 16 hour Core training
Complete First Aid/CPR/Infant Care class
One more meeting with social worker
Get federal finger prints done
Go Pick Up Our Baby!!!

So, we still have a few things left to do, but the list has gotten so much smaller. There will actually be more to do once we have all of these things done and our home-study completed, but it will mostly be handled by the agency so we are almost out of the woods.

I am getting to the point now where I feel like it is really happening. For a while, I was hopeful that it would work out...but worried that something would come up that would somehow not allow us to adopt. I know we are good people, but it is still a scary process to "apply" to be a parent.

Other than the adoption, we have been busy, busy, busy! We had two of our nieces (Jessica-14 and Alexis-13) over Friday and Saturday night. Lance put in some extra time at work so that we could have girl time at the house. We baked cookies, did some scrapbooking, and played lots of Wii Fit. I feel like I don't see my nieces and nephews often enough, so it was nice to have some special time together. I'm hoping to have them all over from time to time in the future.

Friday, October 30, 2009

First Snow

We had our first snow of the season this week. It moved in on Tuesday night and we woke up to a couple of inches on Wednesday and nearly a foot on Thursday. With it came very chilly temps (high's in the 30's and low's in the teens)! Here are a few pics from our October snowstorm:


Poor Lance had to trudge through the snow to the Shed because we weren't expecting so much snow and hadn't moved the shovel to its winter home-right by the front door ;)


I will be sick of the snow in no time, but it sure was pretty to look at.



The Rover was covered!

Some of My Favorites

This year for my mother-in-law, we decided to give her a year long Birthday present. So every month, each family sends her a themed scrapbook page. Her birthday was September 9th and we'll continue until next September. November's theme is "Favorite Bible Verse". Obviously, every part of the bible is equally important, but there are certain verses that touch our hearts at different times in our lives. I want to share some of the verses that I thought of when trying to decide on my November scrapbook page:

Matt 5:3-12
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Mark 9:23
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Phil 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Heb 13:2
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Psalm 10:14
Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.

James 1:27
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Eph 4:32
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

If you really listen to what the bible says, it's amazing how powerful the words can be.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I. Love. Him.

I have to share a cute little story from this week that is the reason why my husband is the best!! We went to the movies this past weekend and whenever we go to the movies, we like to buy Sour Patch Kids to share. He asked me which ones are my favorite, and I told him, "the yellow ones of course." We enjoyed the movie and as usual, had Sour Patch Kids left over to take home with us.
On Monday night, I had a ton of math homework and I was at the table working away trying to get it all done. At one point, I heard Lance come into the kitchen to get a snack and then he headed back to the living room where he had been relaxing. After a little while, he came into the dining room and proudly set the mostly empty bag of Sour Patch Kids in front of me. At first I just thought he was bringing me some sweets to make me feel better since I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the time; but when I looked in the bag, I realized he had eaten all of the Sour Patch Kids...except for the yellow ones. I could tell he was so thrilled with himself that he had saved me the trouble of having to pick through the whole bag to find my favorites.
It's these little things that mean so much to me. Flowers and jewelry are great, but this came straight from the heart and reminded me why I love him!!

Adoption Update- Our first visit with the social worker is officially scheduled for next Wednesday. Lance will be out of town, so it will just be me meeting with her; but we each have to meet with her individually anyways, so it works out fine. Other than that, I'm still trying to finish up the last few little things that I wanted to have done and we are taking it as it comes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Relieved...

I am relieved today because I mailed off our ENTIRE application packet to the agency in Colorado. This may not seem like a big deal, but you have to understand that this may have been the most complex and time consuming application I've ever filled out. We had to do everything from getting fingerprints and ordering extra copies of birth certificates, to filling out a financial statement and getting employment verifications signed by employers. In total, the application was 35 + pages!!
On Saturday, Lance finished building our new steps and they look so nice! He still has to add rails and then I have to paint them, but we are really close. It's a good thing too, because it is cooling off and I know our time for outdoor projects is almost up for this year.
Now, we wait until we hear from the Colorado agency and then we should be able to actually start our home-study.
I know we still have a lot of paperwork and red-tape to get through, but it will be more than worth it when we bring our baby home :)

Besides applying to adopt, we have been super busy trying to get caught up from our vacation. I worked extra before I left and after I got back so I didn't have my usual amount of time at home to get things taken care of. I got most of the "Mound-O-Laundry" washed on Saturday, but I will have to keep going with it on Friday (since I'll be at home all day) and I should be completely caught up then. We are also having Thanksgiving at our house this year so I have started thinking about that. I want to decorate and send out crafty invitations when it gets closer. Since we are doing the Dave Ramsey Budget, I have to do all of this without spending too much money. Luckily, I have quite a bit of scrap-booking supplies so I should be able to use that for a lot of the decorations.
I better get back to it since I still have A LOT to do today. I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Friday, October 2, 2009

East Coast Trip

Last week we got to take a trip to Maryland to see my sister and her family and we made a little vacation out of it too. We spent a few nights in a condo in Ocean City, MD and spent the rest of the time at my sister's in Baltimore. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip:



Roqaya and I getting ready to head to Ocean City.



We had a birthday party for Karim and Roqaya. Karim is old enough now that he really gets it, which makes it so fun!



Getting ready for the 4-D show, nice glasses!!



Touring Washington, D.C.




Here we are in front of the condos we stayed in while we were in Ocean City.



She is such a doll!



He's just too cute for words!!





Karim thought it was so much fun for Uncle L to push him on his trike!!


We had a blast while we were there; now I just have to get caught up at home. I plan on tackling the giant laundry pile this weekend. I've been working hard all week to get caught up, but as usual, it takes a little while after being gone for a week. It was a lot warmer in Maryland, so when we came home, we had to adjust to the very fall-like weather. I guess summer is officially over.


As far as the adoption, we are waiting to hear if we are accepted and we should be starting our home-study soon. It seems like we have accomplished so much...but there is still a long way to go. I am still feeling surprisingly patient about the whole thing. I guess God really was teaching me patience with the infertility struggle. Sometimes we don't understand why we go through trials, but I know there is always a purpose.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Four Years

September 10, 2005 was a perfect day. Yes, my parents were very late to their own daughter's wedding, and yes, it rained sideways at the rehearsal, but our wedding day was a perfect day. It was sunny and warm and we were surrounded by our closest family and friends in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.
On the one hand, I feel like these past four years have flown by. It seems like just yesterday, we were standing under the arbor my dad built vowing our love and commitment to eachother and to God. But, on the other hand, it's hard to even remember what life was like before we were married and it seems like we've been married forever. We have definitely crammed a lot into these past four years. We don't tend to slow down too often.
I am thankful everyday to have Lance by my side. It hasn't always been easy, but through our struggles, we have only grown closer together. The last year has been trying for me, but Lance has been so supportive and comforting through it all.
I can't wait to see Lance as a parent. He's a great husband and I'm sure he'll be an amazing "daddy".

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Where It Starts

Lance and I always knew we wanted to adopt some day, we just imagined we would have biological children first and then adopt. After quite some time, we realized that God had a different plan for us and we began the process of adoption straight away. We are both thrilled with the idea of adopting and can not wait until the day that we get to meet our precious baby.

What we have accomplished thus far:

Requested application from His Hands Taiwan

Submitted application to His Hands Taiwan

Submitted preliminary application to Adoption Alliance

Working on getting house in tip-top shape (need to have all little projects finished up since we'll probably be pretty busy once we bring a baby home).

Ordered additional copies of birth certificates

I have learned so much about patience throughout this whole process. I tend to be a go-getter. When I decide I want something, I make it happen. The past few years made me realize that it's not about my plan; I just have to leave it in God's hands and he will provide. So, this is the beginning of our journey. I'll be posting adoption and general updates along the way.

Followers