Saturday, November 30, 2013

"Maternity" Pictures!

I'm slowly easing back into the social media world. I'm actually surprised at how well I did! No Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, or blogging (even deleted the apps on my phone!). I did go on Pinterest a few times to get recipes, but I refrained from pinning anything new. It was difficult at first. I imagine it's a bit like giving up coffee cold-turkey, but I don't drink coffee so... It got easier over the week though. My goal was to "make my world smaller" by focusing on what was directly in front of me. My husband, my family, and that whispering God seems to be so fond of. It was very relaxing and I'm thinking social media and all that comes with it won't be as prevalent in my daily activities. Just one problem. Josh got use to taking my iPad to work and watching movies on his lunch break. Now he wants one too. Ha!

So many lovely things happened this week, too many to fit into one blog post. The one thing I've been itching to share all week though are the photos we got to take last Sunday. It was Evelyn's birthday so it was so nice to have something fun to do. I never got to take professional maternity pictures when 
I was pregnant with her, so taking them for our adoption was really important for me. Taking them on her birthday just felt right. A nice way to remember her while still focusing on our future. And it was such an incredibly beautiful day! November in Southern California is amazing! Here are a few of our favorites, taken by our talented friend Becca. If you're in our area and would like some info about hiring her let me know. I posted the rest on our Facebook page. I'm so happy with how they turned out! 

Made a little slide show of all of the pictures. I just love these!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Making My World Smaller

I gave someone some advice the other day. She was having trouble feeling inadequate and comparing her life to others. I told her to make her world smaller. Focus on what is right in front of her. Focus on the moment she was in. I need to take my own advice.

Blogging has been therapeutic to me. I admittedly try to write with a positive voice. No one wants to read about my complaints and putting them into writing would give them more weight in my life than they deserve. When I focus on the good stuff, maybe trying to put a positive spin on the not-so-good stuff, I can encourage others (hopefully). It also makes it possible for me to go back and read about our progress and blessings. I really love blogging. More than I thought I would.

However, my personality can get more "determined" than it should be. I know this, and it's something I need to work on. Blogging isn't just blogging for me. Blogging is accompanied by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, plus I read quite a few other blogs. I start to compare our adoption journey to others. My world has gotten very big. I have connections literally all over the country. I have decided to take a small break. Don't get me wrong, I value these connections. I pray for these people and their families. I enjoy learning and gaining from their journeys. But it's starting to detract from our journey. Needless to say, all of this is fairly time consuming. I find myself glued to my iPad, neglecting things 
I shouldn't. I need to make my world smaller, at least for a little while.

The next week is gonna be hard, busy, happy, sad, fun, and challenging. Sunday is Evelyn's birthday. One year since we said goodbye for now. It hasn't quite sunk in yet. We also have plans to possibly have some adoption "maternity" pictures taken by a sweet friend. Then next week brings Thanksgiving. I look forward to spending time with our family and enjoying good food. I will be thankful. Mixed in are the usual weekly tasks including BSF. With so much going on and so many emotions packed into a fairly short amount of time, making my world smaller is necessary. 

"Be still and know that I am God..." This verse has meant a lot to me over this last year. It fits my personality perfectly. I want to take bites out of it, chew on it, spiritually digest it, let it sink into me. I love it and I need it. "Be still". I looked up the original Hebrew- raphah. It means to sink in, relax, let go, become weak. I need to sink in to the knowledge that God is God, and always will be. I need to relax this grip I have on our adoption. I need to let go of the idea that I can help God accomplish His goal. I need to accept that I am weak without God. He is my strength. I need to be still. 

So this next week I will be still. I will focus on my God, my relationship with my husband, and my family. I will make my world smaller. No Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. I want to peacefully enjoy my daughter's memory with the people who were there when she was born. I want to peacefully enjoy Thanksgiving without thinking about what I'll write or what pictures I'll share. Those of you who know me well are still welcome to call, text, or email, but next week there will be no Motherhood Monday, no Wordless Wednesday, no Facebook or Twitter posts. When I come back, I'm sure I'll share a few things, but for now, I'm going to be still, make my world smaller, and focus on who God is. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Things People Say

Yep. Two posts in one day. I'm a blogging machine!

I never want to say or write something that would keep people from adopting. Adoption is beautiful and 100% worth the work, waiting, and frustrations. I am very hopeful about our future and I think anyone entering into the adoption process should have that same hope. God is good and he has a plan.

Earth contains people though. Lots of people with lots of opinions, who speak before they think. Adoption is a huge exercise in extending grace, especially when you have experienced fertility issues before coming to adoption. Once we chose adoption, or rather God chose adoption for us, we were excited! Still are! Always will be! You have no idea! There's a part of the population though that has absolutely no reference point, just doesn't "get it", and to fill that awkward I-don't-understand moment, they say the first thing that comes to mind.

"You want kids!? Take one of mine!"

"Really!? I can't stop getting pregnant!"

"Aren't you afraid the birth mom will change her mind?"

"Aren't they all drug babies?"

"Make sure you get what you pay for." (Implying that the birth mom would lie about her/the baby's medical history.)

"Just stop thinking about it, then you'll get pregnant." Or another variation- "You'll probably get pregnant as soon as you adopt."

"So is it you or your husband who doesn't work right?" (I mentioned this one once before.)

And one of my favorites... "Just have fun practicing getting pregnant." *wink wink*. Awkward! 

This is where that grace comes in. These people have been fortunate enough to never experience this pain. I would never wish for that to change. No one should have to feel the loss that comes with infertility or losing a child. NO ONE! However, I think educating people on the etiquette of adoption is valuable. We can educate with grace and love. While these comments sting, there is no rule that says we have to stand by and give no correction. And there's no rule that says we can't do it with a little humor.

Introducing What To Respect When NOT Expecting. We have contributed to Rebekah South's project and can't wait to read this book and have a good laugh at some of the crazy stories. Check it out!

If you are interested in learning more about Rebekah and her book, and possibly contributing to the project, you can go to her Kickstarter account. If you have a story you'd like to share you can email her at or visit their Facebook page.

 "A joyful heart is good medicine..." Proverbs 17:22

"Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” -Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Wordless Wed.: Multitasking and Memories

Monday, November 18, 2013

Motherhood Monday: Buzzy

One year, seven months, one week and three days since our future child started growing in our hearts. (Oh no! This baby is gonna be giant!..... Sorry, bad joke. Weird mood.)

See above. Weird. This past few days have been full. Really full and super busy. Friday night our friends Alysha and Philip came over for pizza and a movie. Man Of Steel. Loved it! Saturday Josh and his dad went up to our family cabin and put up a new storage shed for firewood. Sunday, my parent's and brother came to our house for a family celebration of my mom's birthday. I made pot roast, carrots, potatoes, salad, and lemon blueberry white chocolate bars. Yum! We had a really nice evening talking and laughing. Today, unfortunately, I attended a funeral for my friend Renee's father. I believe she is the first of my friends to lose a parent. It was too soon and he will be missed, but thank you Lord that he knew You! Renee and I have been friends since kindergarten. She's the kind of friend I can go a long time without talking to and then one day just pick up where we left off. I hope she likes me as much as I like her cause she's stuck with me. Pretty sure she does. I'd do pretty much anything for her. Then tonight Josh and I went and saw the new Thor. Creepy elves (like really creepy), I laughed quite a few times, very imaginative, I liked it! So overall, I'm feeling a bit....buzzy...if that's a word. It's gonna take me a while to wind down tonight.

Ugh. I'm so full right now. I feel like I ate the world over the last few days.

Thoughts about our child:
I think one of the things I look forward to most is just holding you. Feeling you breathe, your skin against mine, so still I can feel your heart beating. Peaceful. Calm. Safe. Happy.

Thoughts about our expectant mom:
If I've learned anything the last few days it's that life moves fast. This part of your life, the part where you might be scared, confused, angry, sad, this won't last. Rest in the knowledge that we want to give your child all the love we can. We want to know you. We want to love you both. Life will change and we will grow. God will give us the tools we need.

This week God:
Got louder. Have you ever had a week like that? Where a reoccurring theme seemed to jump out at you everywhere you go? Last week's soft warm reminder that life is short got louder and sharper this week. Sometimes it feels like our child will never be home but really, this is just a breath. Our teaching leader at BSF Wednesday said something that has stuck with me all week. "True faith measures the cost of following Christ and finds it reasonable." This wait is reasonable. We will wait on God's plan. What's more reasonable than the creation trusting the Creator?

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10

"My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken." Psalms 62:1-2

Read about why I started Motherhood Mondays here.

Here are some pictures from my mom's family birthday dinner. Had some fun with the panorama function on my phone. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunshine On My Shoulder

I'm on a roll! Another blog award...from Gingi again....but who cares! I'm a winner! Haha!! (Somebody else please give me an award so I can nominate her back!)
 The Rules for the The Sunshine Award: 
-Proudly post your sunshiney new award
- Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you
- Nominate 11 wonderful bloggers
- Write 11 questions for them to answer
- Let the nominated blogger know you have nominated them
Gingi's questions for me:
1. Who’s your favorite actor? (Say Zac Efron. SAY IT!!) 
Sorry Gingi, I'm not even 100% sure who Zac Efron is. In all honesty, I don't have a very good memory when it comes to actor's names. I usually end up describing them as "that one guy from that one movie". 

2. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
Oh, this one's easy. Classic Disney movie: The Little Mermaid. I had the full bedroom set as a kid. Love it! Newer Disney (Pixar) movie: Monster's Inc./Monster's University. Such clever movies and Monster's University has such an uplifting an inspirational ending. 

3. Can you dance?
Heck yes!

4. Do you like wearing hats?
No, my ears are too far up on my head. It just doesn't look right.
What I feel like when I wear a hat.
5. Do you have any nicknames?
My parents call me Noodle cause I was super thin and gangly when I was younger. Josh calls me Poptart and I really like it. Makes me giggle like a little girl.

6. Does might make right?

7. What are your thoughts on body glitter?
Ummmm, I believe this is the first time I've "thought" about body glitter. Seems like something one would wear with a costume, maybe as a Twilight character. Haha!

8. Your deepest darkest fear?
As a Christian my biggest fear is loosing my relationship with God, but I know through scripture that can't happen, so it's pretty irrational. As a woman, my biggest fear is never being a mother. Again, pretty irrational, since the logical outcome of adoption is that we will eventually have children.

9. What makes you swoon?
This guy.

10. The most prominent truth in your life?
That the Creator of the universe loves me. Little old me. Mind blowing.

11. What are the lyrics to your favorite song?
"Farther Along"- Josh Garrels
Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by
Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both
We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen
Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin’ that line back home
So much more to life than we’ve been told
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
And wash away all the things you’ve done
Forgiveness alright

Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul
And I’ve got no place left go
Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on
Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I’m free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I’ll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levee and my bluff
Let the flood wash me
And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the son of god is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon
My Nominations: (In alphabetical order of course.)
My questions for you:
1. What is the best advice you've ever gotten?
2. What is your first childhood memory?
3. If you could choose another time in history to live, when would it be?
4. What's the last book you read and what was it about?
5. How did you meet your significant other?
6. What's the best way to get on your good side?
7. What's your favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
8. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
9. What has been your favorite "adoption moment" so far?
10. What would your family pet say to you if they could talk?
11. What is the airspeed velocity of a laden swallow?

Can't wait to read everyone's answers! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This Wednesday Deserves Words

Today I celebrate the birth of the woman who gave birth to me. Even though my mother openly admits she doesn't think she's a "big deal", I am here to tell you she is the only person I know who thinks that. My mom has always been honest with me (in a very appropriate way) about the things she would have done differently in her life. Some of those things I also wish she had done differently, if only to spare herself from the heartache that followed. Pretty sure everyone has stuff they wish they could take back, myself included. However, the life she's led and the choices she's made have given her the life and the character she has now. A life I know she feels blessed to live and I am blessed to be a part of. I am proud to tell people "Sonja is my mom!" She is strong, funny, creative, resourceful, passionate, honest, helpful, and she will be totally embarrassed by this post. My mother feels life with every fiber of her being. I don't think I've ever seen her be halfhearted about anything. She talks with her whole body, fills rooms with loud laughter, and cries with genuine compassion for other's pain. She is loyal, opinionated, and just plain fun to be around. She is my best friend, the measure by which I will gauge my own motherhood, and I am beyond grateful to know her. Happy birthday momma!

Today I took her out to lunch at a Chinese restaurant (something I rarely get to enjoy since Josh isn't a fan of Chinese food). We enjoyed good conversation and laughter. She even cooperated when I told her to do walrus teeth with her chopsticks so I could take a picture. On Sunday we will have a family dinner at our house, so she's getting a whole birthday week! 
We requested chopsticks specifically for this purpose.

Our fortune cookie knows what's up!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Motherhood Monday: PJs

One year, seven months, and three days since God chose us to be adoptive parents. He just hasn't brought our child (or children) home yet.

Very peaceful. Today was a rare day that I didn't have anywhere I needed to be and no errands to run. So I stayed in my PJs all day!! I never do that. I was still very productive though. Got a ton of cleaning done, started dinner in the crockpot, finished making one of my mom's birthday gifts (Pictures later. Her birthday isn't till Wednesday.) and did my BSF homework. So, altogether, it was a very pleasant day. I love being home.

Since I just ate dinner (pork tenderloin, brown rice, zucchini, and broccoli) and had a handful of dark chocolate covered raisins for dessert, I'm feeling pretty full. Maybe some green tea later.

Thoughts about our child:
I've been researching baby wearing. This isn't really a new trend but I've been hearing more about it lately. The list of benefits is huge. I can't remember where I read this so don't quote me, but I found a site that said American babies are held an average of 2.5 hours a day! They go from their crib or basinet, to their swing, bouncer, car seat, and stroller. In the womb their curled up all snug in a kind of C shape, then they're born and constantly carried in containers. It apparently does some pretty bad things to their little spines. Obviously, you can't get around putting them down sometimes and car seats are absolutely needed, but constantly being strapped in and lain flat is no bueno. I'd like to read more, but baby wearing is something I will be doing. There are additional bonding benefits that are especially important with adoption. Holding our new little one will help them bond with us. They will have spent nine months hearing and feeling their birth mom's voice and environment. To suddenly be somewhere new with unfamiliar sounds and people could be unsettling. That's the case with any adoption really. Holding my new tiny miracle close will be soothing to both our souls.

P.S. Check out baby wearing twins on YouTube. Awesome!

Thoughts about our expectant mom:
Frankly I'm a bit speechless. The more I think about what you're going through and what is coming in our future together, the more I.....I!!!

This week God:
Reminded us that life is short. It was a subtle reminder. Like a warm, soft feeling that this life, in comparison to the next, is just a blink of the eye. The trials of this life will not last. What's a few years in comparison to eternity. And not just any eternity. Eternity in paradise, in the presence of pure Love, in the light of the Creator of the universe. A little perspective. I want to enjoy my time here, use it well, and  lead a life pleasing to God. I don't want to waste time being impatient, worrying, or complaining that things are taking "too long". 

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 

Read about why I started Motherhood Mondays here.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I Feel Special

My first blog award!! I feel so special! My friend Gingi at Domestic Geek Girl has nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you, thank you! Gingi and I "met" under very unusual circumstances. Even though I have never seen her in person or even heard her voice, she is quickly becoming one of my favorite people ever! I am so blessed to be her friend. We joke that we stalk each other, at least until we can meet in person. Since Gingi and her lovely family are currently stationed in Florida, I "follow" her every way I can, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and through her fan-flipin-tastic blog. When we finally do meet (hopefully when they are transferred back to CA in the spring), we have agreed that we will do a slow motion run towards one another, then proceed directly to Disneyland. 

Now let's do this thang and spread the blogging joy!

Here are the rules for award:
Thank the one that nominated you.
Put up the picture for the One Lovely Blog Award.
Tell everyone seven things about yourself.
Nominate seven other people and tell them that you’ve nominated them.

Seven things about us: (It was really hard to come up with seven things I haven't already written about!)
1.Every morning, when Josh is walking out the door for work, he says "lovelovelovelovelove!" and I answer back in the same way. If you don't know, this is from the movie Bruce Almighty. Not quite sure how it became part of our routine, but now, if he leaves without saying it, I feel somehow incomplete for the rest of the day.
2. I am secretly obsessed with Downton Abbey. This show is awesome!! I grew up watching period movies with my mom. Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibilities, and Nicholas Nickleby are a few favorites. Now I can get my British fix on a more regular basis. Downton Abbey satisfies something in me. The music, the etiquette, the accents, love it! I spent a month in England in high school with my best friend and her parents. My love of all things British goes way back. The royal wedding was more exciting for me than it probably should have been.
3. We don't own a coffe maker. Neither Josh nor I drink coffee, ever. We don't like it. We receive the occasional Starbucks gift card, but we just end up buying tea or hot chocolate. I'm thinking this actually saves us a lot of money. Have you seen the prices at Starbucks!!?
4. Josh is a supertaster. If you have never heard of this, it's when someone is born with more taste buds than the average person. He experiences taste in almost a textural way. He is very sensitive to flavors. He can taste the smallest amounts of ingredients. For example, he doesn't like rosemary, but I do. For awhile I tried to add really small amounts to our food, but even if I didn't tell him it was there, he knew, even the smallest amounts!
5. Josh and I would like to retire in Texas someday. We have a standing agreement with our friends Andy and Stacie that someday we will own adjacent estates with ample acreage deep in the heart of Texas. Andy is in the Air Force and someday Josh would like a pilot's license, so our land will have to include a landing strip. Not sure where we'll get the money for all of this but who cares!? We can dream.
6. I hate the words "moist" and "slacks" (as in pants). They are the worst words ever. They make my skin crawl. 
7. Someday I would love to see a professional ballet. Preferably this would happen in a culturally rich city like Rome or Paris; New York would work too. Any professional (like legit professional) ballet would make my heart float. I took ballet lessons from third grade to seventh grade. I loved every minute. Ballet is so incredibly beautiful. Not so much when I did it. I was pretty darn gawky. I don't think most people understand how difficult it is though because, when done right, it looks so light and effortless. I was sad I had to stop because my feet and hips just couldn't take it.
And the nominees are: (Listed alphabetically. Organized.)
1. Beholding Beautiful- Written by a wonderful family who hosted a beautiful little girl from an orphanage in Ukraine over the summer, fell in love with her, and are now in the process of bringing her back home for good!
2. Bringing Home Baby Franz- Written by a fellow Kristin (just spelled differently) about her and her husband Bradi, both active duty in the Air Force, and their adoption journey. They were recently matched with an expectant mom due in January!!

3. Our Family- This is my friend Candace's blog. I've mentioned a few times what an inspiration she's been to me.
4. Smiles and Trials- This is one amazing family. Seventeen kids, eleven of whom are adopted! Enough said.
5. The Reds and I- This is the personal blog of the founder of Adoption: Share The Love. An amazing, compassionate birth mom, and single mother to two super cute red heads.
6. Tiny Little Footprints- This is a wonderful family. They aren't much older than Josh and me, but they're adopting a sixteen year old boy from Ukraine (I guess I have a thing for Ukraine.)
7. We Love St. Patrick's Day- This is my friend Shelli's blog. I've written about Shelli here too. She and her husband are at the same stage of domestic infant adoption as Josh and I. Waiting.
There you have it. There are so many more that I enjoy reading, but the rules said only seven. Now go forth and share the love!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Not Adding, Just Applying

We are studying Matthew is BSF this year. The past few weeks we have been learning about the Sermon on the Mount. Prayer has been on my mind and heart. How important it is for our relationship with our Father. He doesn't need us to pray, He wants us to pray, and He wants to bless us through prayer. I've had the Lord's prayer memorized for a while but it's only since we started Matthew this year, that it's been heavy in my mind. I find myself reciting it over and over during the day and falling asleep with it in my head. Slowly repeating, hanging on each word, each phrase, trying to suck the spiritual juice out of it. 

Christ gives us a simple but specific outline of how to pray. He says "Pray then in this way". The Lord's prayer can be applied to all prayer, obviously, but adoption is what's on my mind (shock!). I've decided to apply His directions and write a prayer specific to our adoption. I am not changing or adding to the Bible! I am following the blueprint Christ gave us for prayer. So here is my prayer for our adoption.

My Father, Abba, you adopted me, and made me Your child through Christ.
Your name is Holy and Perfect. 
I eagerly anticipate the day You call us home.
Until then, our desire is to be parents. I pray that Your will is done in our family, and that Your power is seen through our adoption.
Give us Your strength and wisdom to endure this wait. Help us to trust Your perfect plan.
Forgive me for my impatience and my desire to take control. Give me gentleness and grace for those who don't understand this trial.
Keep me focused on You Father. Keep me focused on Your word, Your promises, and Your love. Keep me from the temptation to compare my life to anyone else.
You are sovereign. You are powerful. You are eternal. In Jesus' name, Amen.

When I sat down to write this, I didn't realize how much I would camp on the first two sentences of the verse. After acknowledging that God is my Father, in a very literal, personal, intimate sense, I paused on that line "Your kingdom come". Honestly, I almost skipped it in my prayer. I want so badly to be a mother that asking God to come soon feels counterproductive. Wait!!! Don't come yet!!! I haven't experienced motherhood!!! Short sighted Kristen. I sat here a good while writing and rewriting, arguing with myself and God. Asking Him to come back and take us home has nothing to do with our adoption! But it does!!! This need I have to be a mom is small, microscopic, in comparison to my need for salvation and my desire to be with God for eternity. 

After writing those first three lines, I did a "back-at-the-ranch" detour. "Until then." Yes I want Christ to come again, but until He does, I still live the life He has given me. In this life that is His, I want to be a mom, we want to be parents. We want to raise children who glorify Him. And so, we make the desires of our hearts known and pray that His will, not ours, is done in our family. He will give us the tools we need.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Motherhood Mon.: Peace by the truck load.

One year, six months, three weeks, six days, 50 blog posts (Yep! This is my 50th post!), almost 17,000 page views, 132 Facebook followers, 12 Twitter followers, tons of new friends made, and millions of prayers sent to heaven.

Tired and happy. Josh took today off work and we went to Disneyland! If you haven't been able to tell yet, we really like going to Disneyland. We enjoy the atmosphere, the food, the rides, we even enjoy the lines (to a certain point) cause we just talk while we wait. Josh is my best friend. I love hearing what he has to say and he loves hearing what I have to say. Conversation has always flowed easily between us and the occasional silence is very comfortable. At this very moment, we are in our car on our way home from a happy full day. I'm typing away on my iPad and Josh is singing along to John Mayer. Bliss.

The chocolate covered marshmallows purchased in Downtown Disney. They wait in my bag right now, ready to be devoured upon arrival home.

Thoughts about our child:
You will be the proud owner of Mickey ears at a very young age.

Thoughts about our expectant mom:
Every time I see a pregnant woman I think of you (which was a lot today). What do your friends and family think of your choice? Do they understand how strong you are?

This week God:
Gave me peace by the truck load. Since last week when He reminded us how important prayer is, we feel an enormous sense of calm. I almost feel like we have a "due date" without knowing our due date, or even our birth mother yet. God has a due date for us. This peace has allowed me to enjoy shopping for our future child, attending my friend's baby shower, and going to Disneyland today (tons of children!) in a way I couldn't a few months ago. 

"And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:4

Read about why I started Motherhood Mondays here.

Some pictures from today's Disneyland trip.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Excited to go to a baby shower?!

 Many, well almost all, of my friends have gotten pregnant and had babies since we started the adoption process. I am sad to say that every single one of them cried and apologized when they told me they were pregnant. While my initial human reaction is envy and sadness for myself, I would never intentionally take joy away from anyone! I always want to add to a happy event, never detract. This last Saturday, I had the opportunity to celebrate my friend Kristi's sweet baby boy due to arrive in December. I desperately want to celebrate with my friends and family! I'm tired of being the person people dread telling happy news to.

I love Kristi. She is one of my best friends. I respect and admire her. We met when I was a gemologist and she was a jeweler, ten years ago. I vividly remember the first time I saw her. I was sitting outside the jewelry store on my first day of work waiting for the owner to arrive and unlock the door. I saw Kristi walking toward me and without even saying hello or asking if I was "the new guy" she said "Do you like tea? Let's go get some tea." I followed her to the tiny Mexican restaurant next door where she confidently walked into the kitchen and started making us tea (the restaurant staff seemed to expect this). We were joined shortly thereafter by the jewelry store owner, and with drinks in hand, we started our work day. This first encounter describes Kristi perfectly. Confident, welcoming, blunt, and generous. My friend from day one. Since that day she has been my bridesmaid, I watched her start and finish nursing school, she comforted me through infertility, I was her bridesmaid, and she gave birth to a beautiful little girl (I'll call her Punkin cause...that's what I call her). Kristi was also the first friend I saw after losing Evelyn. Josh and I were leaving the hospital. I was a puddle of tears in my wheelchair and I'm sure it was taking all of Josh's energy to wheel me out. The elevator doors opened to the lobby and there was Kristi. We hadn't asked her to come and she hadn't asked if we wanted her to come, she just came, and man was I glad she did. She cried with us, helped Josh get me in the car, and then followed us home and made us lunch. THE definition of a friend.

I had the privilege of being Punkin's "nanny" for the first year of her life when Kristi went back to work after maternity leave. I spent three days a week, sometimes up to eleven hours a day feeding, changing diapers, and playing with Punkin. I love that little girl with all my heart! She is one of the reasons I am so confident in adoption. I know for a fact I have the capacity to love a child who is not biologically mine to the point that my heart could burst! She is also proof that genetics do not guarantee your child will look like you. Both Kristi and her husband have dark straight hair and dark eyes, but Punkin was born with blond curly hair and ocean blue eyes! I love it!

When Kristi told me she was pregnant again, it was about four months after Evelyn had passed. She cried, I cried, and then I tried my hardest to show how happy I was for her, because I was happy! So happy! I failed multiple times over the next few months to look beyond my own pain but Kristi was patient with me. I have improved. In fact her shower happily forced me to shop at stores I hadn't been in since making my own gift registries. I shopped for baby stuff! I even purchased a baby sling for myself! Hope springs eternal. This is something I don't think I could have done even a few months ago. Everything just still felt too far away and raw. I am happy to say I enjoyed it though. I enjoyed shopping for Kristi's shower and I enjoyed attending it. Twinges of envy creeped in once or twice but I did my best to fight them off and remind myself that God has a perfect plan for our family. One day I will have my own baby shower, and Kristi will be there.

Here are some pictures from Kristi's special day. Enjoy!

Kristi expressed concern over being "showered" by her new little man and so when I saw these "Pee-pee Teepees" at a local store, I knew she would appreciate them. I also included a card (made on my Cricut), a Target gift card, and a sweet little owl hat.
Me, my sweet friend, and her precious little boy.
Genetics are amazing! Dark haired momma with her blond Punkin.
  Punkin enjoying the bounce house with the other kids. She refused to wear anything but her bathing suit. Pick your battles.
 Opening gifts.
 Cute decorations! (Made the banner on my Cricut, of course!)
Kristi's sister made some amazing cupcakes!

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