Monday, October 24, 2011

A little update :)

I was asked if I could give a little update on how Paul and Rachel are doing. For those of you that don't know, they are the couple that adopted our remaining frozen embryos after we had the twins.
So, here the latest. Rachel is almost 27 weeks along in her twin pregnancy. They found out they were expecting twin boys. This amazing news shocked me, and has me curious as to what the remaining 6 are. :). We are super excited for them. They chose to name their little guys Taylor Adam and Aiden James. They chose the name Adam because they wanted to honor us in through the names in some way.
Definitely keep praying for them, as she approaches her third trimester carrying twins.

One side story that just has me blessed beyond words. I am headed to California for a weekend in February for a conference. Last night she just offered for me to come see them and meet the babies in person while I am down there. I want to make sure of course that she is feeling well after the birth, and just be sensitive to how things are going, but just the blessing that they are offering that as a possibility to me, just... Well no words can describe what that means to me, and just makes me again very grateful.

I just am delighting in how God does know our hearts and what is best for each of us.
May you be blessed and find delight in Jesus today.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Listening to God...

Taking a moment to blog about current life...
This last year has not been an easy year in some respect. I have struggled with battling things of a depressed nature, being discouraged about not being able to complete what I desire to accomplish, or not even sure where to go or what to do with things that come up in my life that I maybe would like to try, but feel almost paralyzed?
I think a lot had to do with having a very sick year with my children last year. Being home a lot, meals filled with screaming babies whom I couldn't tell if they weren't feeling good from another ear infection, or if they just didn't like the current selection of food at the dinner table.
At the same time, feeling so grateful for the gifts God gave me, and not wanting that part of my life to be any different.
I see light at the end of the tunnel. I actually painted two of my children's rooms last month. I made a beautiful(I think it is beautiful) fall banner for my home, to celebrate my favorite time of year. I spontaneously took my children to a pumpkin patch on a beautiful sunny day after a dentist appointment. Getting little projects accomplished or getting to spend time with my children doing things outside of housework, Huge blessings to me!

Regret. Something I have been dealing with. Back when I was looking into dream vacation options, I happened to glance at solid rock's upcoming missions trips on their hear the cry page. I noticed there was one that was a trip just for women. Hmmm... I pondered about it. I was curious, very curious, but nick had gone to Haiti, I didn't really want to go, but I would pray about it. I wanted to ask about it, but I didn't. One of those things on my disorganized head lists that never came to fruition.
Then I see a post on Facebook. And I start reading about the planned trip. And it is going to have all these amazing women going on it that I love and admire and am encouraged by. I would loved go on this trip! I send a short message asking the gal what they are doing on the trip. She emails me back the details, but then I know.
It is too late. I am not able to go serve with these amazing women. We had the money in an account that I could have afforded to go, I had a husband that would have taken a week off to care for the children so I could have gone. I have been aching so badly for other women fellowship like this. Why wasn't I going?

I didn't ask. I didn't pursue. I saw, was offered the opportunity to pursue, even had a friend suggest Haiti as an idea for my trip.
God had provided everything, but I gave things every excuse under the sun, not realizing that maybe he s trying to give me a gift that I couldn't see at the time. He knew me so much and how my heart was aching for something like this... Why didn't I pursue?
On Sunday night, I sat next to my husband on the couch crying tears, being comforted and loved by the amazing man God has given me. Not just about that, but this ache, this longing inside of me to be encouraged by older women, this ache also for seeing friends go through really hard things and wondering if they had more support and love around them, would they be where they are at now?
Earlier that day at church we had ran into Phil at church, a rare event but always an amazing blessing. Diane came over and prayed with me, encouraged me, pouring kind loving words into me, and one of her words were "be faithful" during this season of my life. Filling in me that little void for a moment of Titus 2 women in my life that I ache for.

I needed to be faithful.  Faithful to my husband, with my thoughts, heart, words, actions, time.  Faithful to my children with love, firm discipline, consistency, time.  Faithful to my church, maybe I can't do much at this time, but faithful to pray.  Faithful to my friends, faithful to love, pray encourage them.  Faithful most importantly to God.  To trust, follow, hope, pray and dream with Him. 

In conclusion to Sunday night, I knew I could not change the to be missed experience to Haiti this time.  But, I also knew that I needed to take time to listen better to my God who loves me.

Tuesday morning, I was reading my bible, and praying and reading one of my Sally Clarkson books. She is another Titus 2 woman that I love to read about how she raised her four children who are now all adults and walking with Jesus.
I was reminded of how she had conferences that she did, and God laid it on my heart to pursue this. They are conferences for moms to encourage them.
So I did. I started looking, and At the same time saw airfare was having a huge sale to California, where one of the conferences were.
This time I moved. I talked to nick about it. I thought it would be lovely to find a companion to go with. As I pursued this more, I knew from the burning of the Holy Spirit inside of me that I was suppose to do this. I emailed them asking for details. And even though her husband was recovering from back surgery he wrote me back and apologized for sign ups not being on their websites yet, but gave me the information I needed.
I wasn't finding a companion, but southwest deals were ending last night.
So, this morning, in my inbox, I have a airfare ticket sitting in my inbox to be used in February, a hotel reservation with a room with two doubles, just in case God gives me a friend to do this with, but of not, then I know He means the time for me and Him and I am completely at peace with that. And I am beyond excited of this little adventure of taking a car to the airport in February, getting on an airplane, getting off an airplane and taking a shuttle to a hotel where I will spend two days gleaning and the wisdom of a Titus 2 woman, then get back on a shuttle to the airport and come home.

If I could encourage to you today, it would be take the time to listen, to pray, to seek out what God's dreams are for your life today. Psalm 37 commit them to the Lord, delight in Him, Rest in Him, Dwell in His land and cultivate faithfulness.

That is what I plan to do today. Cultivate faithfulness by living in my beautiful land with four amazing children and a husband who loves me very much.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

HE does know best...

So, continuing on with our second adoption story. 
This story is just not as "picture perfect" as I felt our first one was.  So it is harder to process through writing it all out.  One, I want to be sensitive to those that were involved as we walked along this journey.  And two, it is one of those situations that you can see some answers to the whys for how things went, but it doesn't always make sense.  I can look back 5 years ago and say, I totally understand - which I will share those things, but in the midst of everything, I did not fully understand. 
So, here I go. 
Middle of October.  Just a few short weeks after the falling through with our Jacey baby girl.  We get another phone call. 
Here is my post:
Oct 18, 2006

Another birth mom...

Hi friends and family -
I am excited, and just waiting on God... Bethany has another birth mom for us to meet - this next Monday - Her name is Ashley and she lives in Washington - we might get to meet the birth dad too.  I'm so excited, she is working with the same birth counselor that worked with Josiah's birth parents, Cindy, and Cindy was just so great during the whole process - we'd be so honored to do it again.  (= 
She doesn't know what she's having - which would mean it would be a surprise, but she is due they think on November 8th?  I think?  Could be the 7th... wow, so this could happen SO fast. 
Anyways, please be praying for us, we just want God's will in this - I'm so nervous - the idea of 2 kiddos???  That will be quite the responsibility.  (= 
I'm glad I am going to California this weekend - it will make everything go a lot faster.  (=
I'll be sure to keep ya'll updated. 
Thanks for the prayers! (=

We went up to meet Ashley.  She was a beautiful gal, a swimmer, in college, had family support. 
She didn't know what was she was having.  She was 8 months along, and had just found out that she was pregnant several weeks prior to our visit.  We also met with the birth dad, separately that day.  He had just found out that week.  He was in another relationship now, and was dealing with the shock of everything.  There is a lot more that was going on, but to just sum things up, it was an extremely complicated situation, where the birth parents were not talking to each other, and it just felt very...  complicated.
After we left, I wasn't sure where we stood.  The birth mom seemed pretty upbeat and ready for adoption. 
The birth dad was sorting things out.  So we waited for a few weeks.

Then we got a letter in the mail.
Here is the next post:

Nov 9, 2006

And the verdict is...

We have been chosen! 
We are so excited and in awe and just amazed the way God works in the whole adoption process.  We received a letter from our birth mom letting us know that we have been chosen.
We talked to our caseworker today, and she said the duedate is still looking like the 12th or 13th... so probably sometime next week!!!(=
So, thank you so much for your prayers - we now are just waiting for the birth - but we have plenty to take care of before then -
I'll try to blog one more time once the baby is born to let you all know when we will be going up there.
Thanks again for all your continued prayer and support -
Be Blessed!

The birthdad had come to peace with the adoption situation, and so we were officially the chosen parents of this little one.  I had a gut feeling it must be a girl.  She wasn't going to find out until birth,   so I just had this feeling in my heart we were suppose to have a girl next.  I chose the name Ava.  The Cowan's gave birth to a baby boy named Evan, and Ava was the feminine version of that name, meaning filled with life.  They would get married and live happily ever after someday... 

We received news a week later that Ashley had given birth to a baby boy.  He had a low birth weight, he weighed less than 5 lbs.  but he was doing well.   Our phone call with our caseworker left us a bit confused.  Ashley was pretty sure she still wanted to do adoption, but she just had some things she needed to talk to us about.   So we planned to go up the next morning to talk with her and meet her little boy. 

That night I went shopping with Erin Cowan for premie baby boy clothes, and was excited, but holding back a little in my heart.  Something didn't seem quite right, but I couldn't lay my finger on it... I had been expecting a girl, but hey, we would love a little boy just as much...

We got to the hospital up in Washington the next day, unprepared for what would come of this day.
The first news we weren't prepared for, was that he was being released from the hospital that day.  We didn't have any of our baby stuff, no car seat, absolutely nothing.  We started logistically trying to figure out how we would leave the hospital, go home and get everything, and then come back to get him.  We knew we would need to figure things out. 
The second thing, was when we got there, they introduced us to him, as Isaiah.  We were a little shocked, because she hadn't asked us about naming the baby.  We didn't have a solid baby boy name picked.  We knew we liked the name Micah, but we wanted to not come in with a forceful this is what we want to name our baby.  I started to think of what would need to be done to change legal documents for naming this little guy. 

And he was very little.  this beautiful baby boy.  Watching Ashley hold him, and then timidly holding him in front of her, didn't sit well. 

We left her room, and sat in the waiting room and talked with her parents and sister, while Ashely talked with her birth counselor.  We waited a long while, not sure what the outcome was going to be. 
Cindy, her birth counselor finally came in, and told us that she was going to keep the baby. 

As we left the hospital, it hit me, that my biggest fear of leaving the hospital without a baby actually had happened, for real this time.  But in a weird way, I felt a little relieved.  There was a lot of birth family dynamics that would have added a lot to our responsibilities with visits.  There was unknown health issue possibilities for little Isaiah, that would not have shown themselves right away, but could have definitely brought challenges down the road. 

The baby outcome...

Current mood:mellow
Thank you all for praying so much for us - we definitely felt them today. 
Ashley decided at this point to not choose adoption and take the baby home with her today. 
So, we are doing amazingly well in the midst of this, and just have a peace from the Lord that this is what he had for her and for us.  Nick and I are just grateful to have the final outcome of all this, and ready to move forward with our lives and look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas time with our families.  We are just very blessed for the little boy God has already given us in Josiah. 
We will be sure to keep you posted of any new possibilities down the road.
Be Blessed!
Kari & Nick & Josiah

Nick and I had been more than willing to receive this baby into our home, into our arms.  And there was definite moments of heartbreak when I returned all the baby clothes I had just purchased a few days prior.  The empty arms aching, wondering what God was doing.  I started to try to potty train Josiah just to take my mind off things, but having him pee all over the place and not feeling "safe" with him sitting on my lap without a diaper on, I decided to not push it, and held back a little longer on that task so I could just hold the little boy God had given me. 

I can look back on the reasons now and see God's hand in the midst of it.  We needed an Ava in our family.  We needed more time with just Josiah, our first child, to nurture and love just him.  I wonder if little Isaiah had grown up having special needs, would we have considered doing fertility treatment that brought us Mallory and Lena?
But in the moment, I didn't fully know what God was doing.  I would go to church on Sundays and silent tears would slide down my cheeks as they would play the Tim Hughes Everything song that God had given me as my song during this waiting period. 

So my waiting continued, and that is where I will leave you for now.