Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Gift of Ava...

I want to try to write out more of Ava's adoption story tonight.

May 3rd, in the afternoon, Nick and I are getting ready to head down to Woodburn for a dress rehersal to a wedding he is one of the groomsmen in.
We get a call from Roxanne, our amazing caseworker.
Zac & Lacey have chosen you. Her due date is next week.
We had our answer. We were going to be parents again.
It was a crazy busy weekend, one where we told the bride and groom of the possibility that we might be going to the hospital for our baby at a moment's notice. :) One that while I went with a friend to the outlet stores the morning of the wedding while Nick got ready, and we looked for baby girl clothes. Deep down inside there was a fear of wondering would I have to bring them back if they changed their mind as well once she was born...
I did a little more shopping that Sunday after church and hoped I had everything I needed.
Monday around 12 we got a phone call letting us know Lacey went into labor, and that once they got to the hospital and got settled, maybe we could come visit her and Zac... I took Josiah over to my parents just to be prepared.
So we waited, and then after 3 o'clock we got another phone call letting us know Lacey had given birth to her baby girl, and everything went well. That maybe we could come visit them that night, but they would let us know a little later.
As I waited, without my busy two year old to keep my thoughts distracted, I went into super cleaning mode. Nesting if you will :) I cleaned and cleaned and got my home spick and span, drawing up lots of dust into dustclothes and cleaned more. We got the phonecall early evening that they would like us to come meet her, and we could talk about names.
That was a relief in some ways to me, because with the last adoption that fell through, the baby boy had already been named when we got there.
I tried to go in with an open mind. The one thing I told Nick was the middle name I wanted to hold my ground on. I really loved the middle name "Hope," it represented all that I had anticipated in this process, what kept me going these last months of waiting without answers.
We went in and there she was. This beautiful tiny delicate 6lb 1 ounce baby girl with these big eyes that peered right into a person's soul. The nurse had superglued a purple bow onto her tiny bit of hair. As I held her I wondered if this was really happening.

We talked about names. I originally thought about Madeline, because I loved the name Maddie. They weren't to keen on it, so I went back to my list of names that I had, and when I read the name Ava, my name from the November adoption, that I had laid to rest, and they loved it. Lacey had a middle name she really liked as well, so we decided to give her two middle names: Ava Mae Hope.

Ava means: filled with life. Mae means: gift of God. Hope means to me: Our hope in Christ.

We left the hospital, 2 nights away from the possibility of her being our baby girl.

It was a week of Seven at our church. This was a week of fasting and praying for our city. I am terrible at fasting. I want to be good at it, but honestly it is not something that I do well at. But I decided that I would take the Tuesday of waiting and try to fast. Nick took that day off, saying he would not be much use at work while waiting. I went to the early morning worship they had at church. I got to show our pastor Phil and others the picture of Ava from the hospital the night before. Then I drove it by to show my mom, at the preschool she worked at. I took some time on that beautiful sunny day and sat at summerlake park, praying, reading my bible, thinking, and just enjoying that moment of quiet.

The night before, right after my big cleaning frenzy, I started to feel funny. I couldn't lay my finger on it. By 2pm Tuesday, I was not feeling well, and Nick thought I should eat something. I still did not feel well, and I started to develop the chills, and took a rest. The fever would not go away, so I took some tylenol, and felt better, until it wore off again.

This continued straight into Wednesday, when we were waiting for the phone call of when Zac and Lacey would have us come, to pick up Ava and say goodbyes. I remember laying on the bed with the chills and a fever that early afternoon, thinking to myself, I can't do this, I am not feeling well, I don't know what is wrong with me. This is not how it is suppose to go.

But at 2pm, we got the call to come back to the hospital. Tylenol had kicked in again, and I got myself out of bed and we headed out.

We saw them for a little bit, and waited in another room while they said their good byes to Ava, and signed final documents. Around 5:30, they were ready to go, and we walked out of the hospital with them. Zac carried Ava in our carseat carrier, and Ava's hand was firmly wrapped around Lacey's finger.

This was not something I was prepared for at all. When Josiah was given to us, we didn't actually watch the handing over of him to us. Seeing Zac and Lacey in tears over this loss was almost unbearable, and my heart ached for them. We stood outside the hospital for a few minutes in silence, not sure of what to do as Ava held Lacey's finger. I reached out my finger, as an offering, and Lacey accepted it and transferred Ava's hand to mine. My heart ached and continued to break. We gave them hugs, and they left first, pulling out in Zac's jeep. Then Nick went and pulled our car around, and the nurse with us gave us a comforting smile, and offered to take our picture with Ava.

After this long journey of waiting, we had been given a precious beautiful gift.
We loaded her up in our car, and left for home.

There is more I want to write about this, but for now this is good. The other stuff is things that are important to share, but I want this particular post to be about how we were given Ava.
Thank you for letting me share.

this little one captured my heart...

On Wednesday I got to pick up Josiah from school, sans the three sisters. 
I got there early hoping to be able to sit with him while they had a pizza pie party, but I quickly realized it was a classroom kid experience, so looking to fill the time while I waited for the party to be done I glanced around in the lobby of the church/school, and came across this display they had up on adoption.  They had all these beautiful children from China, some pictures of children that were now adopted, some children that were available for sponsorship, and some that were adoptable. 
My heart was immediately caught by this beautiful baby girl named Macey.  She is 2 years old, the same as the twins, and her eyes looked so much like Mallory as a baby to me.  I immediately fell in love.  They had some pictures you could take with you, of the different children.  I found the one of Macey, and I took it with me, and I wanted to post it for you. 

She has a Cleft Palate, and a Heart Condition, and to me is beyond beautiful.  God made her and yes, truly I am in love.  Maybe it is the joyful smile that shines through the cleft palate.  She is just beautiful in God's eyes. 

We are not looking to adopt.  We just gave up 8 baby embryos this year for adoption.  But I see this little one and my heart aches for her.  I want her to have a family so badly.  She needs a family to show her Jesus love. 

Right now, I am just praying for her.  I have her picture posted, and am praying that God will work in her life and provide for her in beautiful ways. 

I wanted to share this, because I know that adoption is something God impresses on hearts, for people to care for those children that need homes.  It isn't second rate, or the next best option if you can't get pregnant, it is a calling - a beautiful amazing calling, one that is it's own separate journey from infertility.  One that there can be hurt and turmoil and aching and waiting for a child.  One that doesn't always work out perfectly dream come true.  But one that God calls His people to do.
James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: To visit widows and orphans in their
distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  

I am not wanting anyone that reads this to feel guilted into this.  What I want to say is this.  God clearly called Nick and I to adopt in His timing, and provided us with the gifts of Josiah and Ava.  He clearly led us to try infertility treatment and gave us Mallory and Lena.  And He led Paul and Rachel to seek to adopt baby embryos, and led us to give up these little ones as gifts for a couple that ached for a family as we once did. 
As a married couple, it is something to be united on.  When I wanted to start the adoption the process with Josiah, Nick was not on the same page yet.  He was open to considering it, but he wanted to finish up our few months left of treatment.  But it was God's timing that led us to Josiah.  I just wanted to mention this, because in my heart I would immediately jump on the band wagon right now to adopt this beautiful baby girl.  But Nick is not on that page.  He said he would pray, but as of right now, we are done growing our family.  And it is so important as a married couple to respect each other, and not push someone into something they aren't feeling led to do. 

That being said, I just want to encourage all of you, to always keep your heart open to prayer and consideration of God's leading in this.  He is the Provider and if He calls you into the adoption process, HE will Provide. 

Anyways, that is just on my heart at this moment - to a very extreme measure, and I just wanted to share that with you. 

Have a great thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I hate...

Yesterday, I don't know what was up, call it hormones if you will, lack of sleep I am not sure... but the top words that kept searing the roof of my mouth under my breath was "I hate...".
It started with the rain, on a day that I had to get in and out of the car with my children. I hate the rain. Then it traveled to rain boots that kept falling off Mal and Lena's feet. I hate rain boots. It traveled to their rain jackets, that were big and bulky and hard to buckle in and out of their car seats.... I hate rain jackets... I hate baby car seats, can't wait for them to be old enough for seatbelt ones. It went to my daughter's thanksgiving program, where i had to walk up and down the stairs with two little ones that kept tripping over their boots... I hate stairs. Then it traveled into the rest of the week. Overwhelmed by this weeks schedule... I hate this week. I hate having the children's school hours all off because of holidays. I hate that the twins have to have a whole day of language evaluation done today, into their naptime. I hate that the older children have to go to two different schools with two different schedules.
I became a regular Mrs. Bahumbug. I didn't even want to be near me.
But I really can't hate these things. Because I love the little girls feet that the rain boots kept falling off of. And I want to keep their cute painted toesies dry from the rain I love the little girl to be warm, and without those big bulky jackets they would be cold and wet. I love my girls to ride in their car safely, so without those special car seats they would not be very protected. I love my older children's schools, that they both have teachers that love Jesus and love my children and show them Jesus love. I could say I even love the rain, which provides me delicious water to drink and comforts me as I fall asleep at night so grateful for the protective roof over my head.
I just needed a moment to get my head on straight. Shelve the term "I hate" and replace it with so much thanks and things to be grateful for.
If i don't write anything else before Thanksgiving Day I want to wish you an amazing one with those you love, may you be able to truly whole heartedly give thanks to the Lord for the great things He has done.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

5 am hour, how i do not love thee...

Twins. We now have moved them into big girl beds, and at such a timely week being the week before daylight savings time. It is amazing how much they have learned since the crib to bed transition. I often wish i had a video camera for their room to see what they do when they wake up. Over the weekend Mallory learned how to open her bedroom. But she was gracious about it and would wait until close to 7 am to do that manuever.
Yesterday morning rolls around, and Nick and I wake up to a chorus of joyful skipping hopping girls saying "mama! Mama!" over and over again, at 5:50am Nick rolls out of bed and greets them at our door. Plan foiled, the twins get escorted back to their room sobbing a forlorn "mama, mama...".
I lay giggling in our bed as Nick tumbles back in mumbling something about that is just not the ideal way to get woken up, and goes back to sleep.
Nick left on an early morning business trip, and this time at 5:30am I hear noises down the hall, and come outto find a sleepy Josiah who informs me "Mom, I just saw the twins going down the stairs...".
Back to bed they go. I am not sure what they were headed off to do? Maybe take their toy grocery carts through my kitchen and unload my pantry into my cart? Well, at least that is what they did last week one day.
We have officially hit the toddler stages times two in this house. Guess it is time for me to go love my family. Just thought I would pass on this awesome experience of being woken up two morning in a row by awesome twin girls :).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Feeling mighty blessed this morning.

I am so grateful that I have been given the priviledge of raising my four children.
I was just thinking about this morning, as I did all their hair while they ate their breakfast about this. 
I wanted to be a lot of things, and I feel like my job that I get to do now, is a way to express all the creative things I love to do, in a variety of ways :)
I wanted to be a hair dresser.  So God gave me four children to do their hair.
I wanted to be a photographer.  So one Christmas Nick bought me a really nice camera (along with the four pocket cameras that he has replaced from me breaking them over the years) and I get to document my family's life through pictures. 
I wanted to be a chef.  So I get to cook every night for my family.
I love to shop and find deals, think it would be fun to be a fashion consultant, now I have a bunch of people that I love to shop for. 
I wanted to be a writer, so now I have a blog to be able to journal out the stories in my life of God's faithfulness.
I wanted to be a singer when I was growing up.  Now I have 3 little girls who sing with me in the car and we can sing our hearts out to Jesus.  Maybe someday they will be the next Barlow Girl band ;) 

I really think this job is the best job in the world, because I can do all the things I love for those I love. 
I am so blessed.  SO blessed.  Because I know these are gifts.  And I remember the time I wanted them so badly and didn't have them.  I never want to forget that. 

For those of you that have little ones I pray you can hold them tight and show Jesus love to them, and for those of you aching for little ones, I pray that you can hold tight on to Jesus and that He can fill you with all you need in this moment. 
Have a beautiful Sunday morning!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Waiting with out answers....

Waiting...  this was something I was becoming good at.  Or was it something I was becoming NUMB to? 
I look back in reflection of the season of silence, from November 2006 to April 2007, with only one phone call of a possibility that didn't happen in the middle of it.  

It was a quiet time.  A time that I didn't know what was going on.  It was a time of internal stress.

How do we handle these situations out of our control?  The ways we try to cope with them. 

I plunged forward into trying to stay busy with Josiah.  Thriving on looking for any emails from friends that maybe might want to hang out.  Looking for ways to be involved serving. 

There are some fun things I got to do during this season of waiting.  I got to go on a WAY retreat with the church and serve tables with two amazing friends.  I was able to do a road trip with my friend Amy and our two sons, to California to visit friends that had moved down there.  Nick was going to be in a friend's wedding in the beginning of May.  There was a lot of great things going on. 

Business is something I thrived on.  Looking for the next big event on the calendar.

I also struggled with stress eating.  I had fluctuated up and down with my weight over the last few years, a subject I will write about in the future, but the loss of Ashley's baby marked a turning point where my lack of control of eating came into play, and I slowly started to put on weight and not fit into clothes and felt pretty down on myself.  I have so much to say on this subject, because God has grown me up so much in this, but for now I will just leave it there, to keep on with the story. 

In April we received a phone call from our agency.  A couple wanted to meet with us and another family as they were considering adoption for their baby girl who was due in May. 

April.  A crazy season of life for us.  The last three months Nick would be finishing his master's degree, taking two classes, and at that point at work was putting in 60 hours a week.  I wasn't seeing much of him. 
A year prior when we had started the process, we actually planned to go off the waiting list the months of April - June of 2007, while Nick finished things up.  However, after the two losses, and then not hearing much, we prayed about it and decided to stay on this list. 

We met with Zach and Lacey at the local agency office.  I was really nervous and feeling really shy.  I didn't know what they would think of us.  Nick played spokesperson a lot for us.  My friend watched Josiah while we talked with them, and then brought him at the end to meet Zach and Lacey.  Easing my nervousness, my son burst in the room all smiles with his adorable dimples, blue eyes shining bright.  There are 100 other things my very hyper active son could have done at that moment, but some how God knew that Josiah needed to respond like that. 

In reflection to that meeting, I think that I was more guarded.  After going through a near loss with Josiah, and a few losses prior to this meeting, I was protecting my heart from being broken again.  A part of me wishes I could change how I handled my internal feelings inside. 

We thanked them for meeting with us, I think we prayed with them, and then we said our good byes.  We knew they were meeting with another couple, so we once again waited. 
She was due beginning of May. 
I was planning to leave for California with my friend for our road trip, and we still had not heard anything. 
We called our agency, wondering if we should change our plans last minute. 
We received an answer.  They wanted to meet with us again.  We made plans to meet for lunch, and then I would be leaving for California.  We met for Chinese food in Portland.  It was a little more relaxed without the counselors and case workers there, and we talked with them. 
We went to a park close by and went on a walk, and then they shared how God had led them to this place of considering adoption.  I want to respect them by not sharing all the details, but I know that God spoke to both of them, and that HE had saved Ava's life.  It is amazing to me that Ava's name means "filled with life." 

They didn't give us any answers.  We once again said our goodbyes, and then we waited. 
I left for California, not knowing how things were going to go. 
I think in coping, I let myself think it was not going to happen, and went down and got to enjoy time with my friend who was expecting her first baby, and had just moved far away with family.  It was a blessing to have something else to focus on, but I pushed all those feelings down again, instead of working through them. 
I got a phone call in the middle of our trip from our caseworker, but she did not have any news for us.  They were still not having an answer, so we kept waiting. 
When I got back home, we still had no answer, so we kept waiting.  May 1st came.  No answer.  We kept waiting.  And I did not know what to think... 
I am going to post all the blogs from my old myspace.  And that will conclude this post :) 

Apr 13, 2007

waiting and praying...

This week has been an up and down week. 
Nick has been working tons -  I feel so bad for him, he just works so hard for us, but he is just one term away from his Master's, and I'm so proud of him for how hard he works, and just looking forward to the days ahead of him being able to have the freedom to do all the daddy things he wants to do with Josiah... like playing baseball and stuff with him.  Josiah loves his daddy so much and Nick is the best dad for him (:  Nick makes me want to be a better mom (:
This week we had a dear friend die in Iraq.  His name was Brett Walton, and if you live in the Oregon area - you may have seen this on the news.  He just left for Iraq last month, and was so happy to be serving the Iraqi people.  It makes me so sad that he had to die, and that his daughter Sydney will have to grow up without him in her life.  Below is a link to see about him.  We are just praying for their family... it just doesn't seem real at all...

On the same day we found out Brett had died, our agency called us, and said they wanted to show our profile to a birth mom due in May.  So next week she wants to meet with us and another family, to make her decision on whom should parent her baby.  Her name is Lacey, so please just be praying for wisdom for her - I don't know how one chooses that, but I know that it will need to be God giving her peace.  And God has the right child for us too... but of course my heart beats a little faster knowing that she is having a baby girl... so we would covet all prayers... we will find out what day this next week we will be meeting with her - but it will be sometime next week...

And then I get to go to visit my friend Holly down in California for almost a week - 1/2 the time with my friend Amy, and 1/2 the time with Nick, and all the time with Josiah (:  I'm really looking forward to the trip - Amy has never been to in and out before, so we are making sure we hit the one in redding before we head on down to see her. 

So it's just been a very busy time of life right now, good, but just emotionally AHHH sometimes... but it's just an opportunity to trust more...

And for those of you that are like me - I am so ready for the sunshine - I keep asking God when it will arrive?  It seems a little late - I'm ancy to pull out my capris and t-shirts - I have been in jeans far too long!!! 

Well, that's all for now...

Be Blessed!

Apr 16, 2007

Okay, so we got word on the meeting time...

Current mood:hopeful

This Thursday, we are meeting with birth parents, to see if we might be the right family for their baby.  They are meeting with one other adoptive family as well.  We would like to ask for wisdom & peace of heart for Zach & Lacey (the birth parents) that God will show them the right family to parent their baby.  If that is us, we would be so honored, but we know God has the right child for us, and are wanting to wait on his timing, so if that is not us, that God will just give us peace.  We just want His will in this. 
We are meeting Thursday morning, at 10am, for an hour, without Josiah, and then a friend will be bringing Josiah by so Zach & Lacey can meet him as well. 
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support in this – we are so blessed to have you all a part of this (:
I will keep you all posted once we hear more, but it may not be for several days after our meeting, depending on when Lacey & Zach are meeting the other adoptive family, and the time it will take for them to make this decision…  but once we know more, I will definitely let you know (:

Apr 23, 2007

No answer yet, but another prayer request...

Well, we have been waiting to hear on the decision, and we don't have an answer yet....Zach and Lacey liked both families they met with.  However, they said they connected with us a little more, so they want to meet one more time with us. 
Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) we are going to meet them for an early lunch at 11am, hopefully to provide a time we can get to know each other in a little more of a comfortable setting, and less of a "interview" setting.   Last time we were all pretty nervous, so the prayer request is that we could all truly be ourselves and that from this visit it would give clarity to Lacey and Zach on their decision.  This is just really hard for them – they really want to make sure they are making the right choice. 
Josiah & I are leaving tomorrow to go visit Holly in California for a few days, but I will try to post a blog, once we know what they decide.  We probably won't know much more until after Wednesday…
Thank you so much for your prayers!  We can't do this without them – it is really hard at times to just have all these emotions up in the air.  We just want to express to Zach and Lacey's God's love tomorrow, and encourage them in the midst of making this decision. 

May 1, 2007

No news yet... maybe soon????

Current mood:restless
So, I'm back from Cali, and already missing the sunshine - this rain things stinks - I got to go swimming every day with Josiah - it was just what I needed (: 
Nick, Josiah and I made the long drive home yesterday - only had about an hour worth of stops, left a little after 8am, and made it by 6pm - that's not bad timing (: 
Well, I'm afraid to say, we don't know much more than before with our adoption stuff...  Zach and Lacey wanted to take the weekend to think about it more.  What we do know, is, if they decide to do adoption, we would be the family they would choose.  But right now they are sorting through the reality of it all, and seeking God on what He would have them do, and it's just a really hard decision to make.  So right now, we are waiting... 
A part of me wonders if we won't know anything until after the baby is born...  The due date is May 9th - so it could be anytime now...
That's basically where we are at - and now I have a ton of catching up to do today - starting with getting food back in the refrigerator (:
I'll let you know when I hear more....
Thanks again for the prayers!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Community holiday...

I have never taken my children trick or treating before. In the beginning when our family began, our church was young too, and they did harvest parties. I looked at it as a great way to spend an evening, worshipping Jesus, reading the Word with our children, and celebrating fall festivities, giving glory to God on a day that is not known for that.
We got into the habit of buying our kids cute animal costumes, and spending time with our church family.
Last year, our church made the decision to not have it, because it fell on a Sunday and would not mix well with the evening service.
So we had some friends and family over, enjoyed good food, did a candy hunt for the kids in our living room, and said hi to our neighbors that trick or treated, and just enjoyed our time as a family.
This year they announced again that the harvest party would not be happening.
We decided to have one family over for dinner, and mostly stick with the fellowship in.
We were debating about the whole trick or treating thing.
See, at church we have been hearing all these sermons on community, getting to know those around us, in our neighborhoods and schools, etc... However it seems we live in a neighborhood where everyone stays inside for the most part. So I have been wondering how this fits for me, a mom of four that mostly stays home with our children, or carts them to or from school.
Yesterday morning, Nick came down with the stomach flu. He was not a happy guy. So our plans for friends over got cancelled, and it became a night at home for just us Adams six. But then the kids started asking about trick or treating. Again, I am not a super huge fan of Halloween and all the demonic stuff that goes on that night, or in celebration of that night.
I had not mentioned the idea of trick or treating to the kids, Nick and I still were in debate over it. Last year we were at this stand still of not feeling a strong conviction either way, and not having peace about it, so we had chosen to say no because of that. But this year, I had peace. This year, I knew that it would be a great chance to meet all the neighbors. Community.
The kids wanted to take candy to the neighbors and give it to them, but after some confusion at the first house over it, we ended up nixing that idea. Ava was so excited to wear an orange light that she got from preschool that read "shine your light for Jesus.". We got to say hi to a lot of neighbors, and it ended up being a great way to spend time with my children. We came home, and had our Bible time together with a daddy who was starting to feel better.
I don't know if we will do it again next year, or if it was just a one time thing. I know we will pray about and make the decision for each year. But I am praying God can use that night of us saying hi to all our neighbors for His purpose.
I am glad we got to take a night that Satan so would love to take all the glory and instead love our children, and show Jesus love to our neighborhood.