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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Referral Day!!!!

December 27th was the day! The day God knew all along would be the day our waiting would come to an end! WE GOT OUR REFERRAL AND IT'S A BOY!

I decided to stay home that Tuesday, because I knew that if a referral came in to our agency, they would let our director know that day. And I knew that we were next in line, so our chances were pretty high that we would hear something, but even though my hopes were high, I definitely didn't expect anything. I was upstairs at my parents house watching "The Chew," and chatting with my dad. Bryan went downstairs to take a shower. It was about 1:15 in the afternoon and I heard my phone ring. At first, I didn't think anything of it, because I set my phone to ring a special ring tone when my agency called, so I knew it wasn't them when I went to get it. But when I picked up the phone it had a weird area code on it, and my heart stopped. I held my breath and said "Hello?" It was our director from our agency! She greeted me and asked how my Christmas was. I don't know why at this point, I didn't realize that this was THE call. I mean, our agency wasn't even open this week because of Christmas, so there would be no other reason I would be getting this call. But I just chatted with her like it was just a normal conversation. It wasn't until she said, "Well, I just received a referral for you..."  that's when I just lost it and started bawling. My dad went in my mom's room to let her know, "I think Monica just got her baby." Everyone was crying, and then I realized I had to pull myself together and tell my husband! I told her, "I have to tell Bryan!" So, I ran downstairs and opened the door and Bryan was there just about to come up. He saw me crying on the phone and said, "Is that it?" I just nodded my head and we hugged each other in the stairwell. We went into our bedroom and I put our director on speaker phone. She said,"I think Monica has some news to share with you, Bryan." To which I said, "I think he already knows!" ;) She laughed and told us it was a boy and his birth date was January 21, 2011! I thought immediately about how cool that was because that was Bryan's number! :) His basketball number was # 21 in high school, so he has kinda kept it since then. She told us a bunch of stuff about what our next steps would be, and that she was going to send us the official referral and pictures in the morning. We were going to have a hard time sleeping knowing that we would see our baby's face for the first time in the morning! Before we got off the phone, I asked her if we could have his name, and she said it was "Dohyun," meaning "Kind Hearted Way." Once we got off the phone, we looked at each other and just started crying! We immediately began to pray and thank God for answering our long awaited prayer! It was such a special moment that I will never forget!

Can't wait to tell you all about him! Pictures and more details to come once our acceptance is official, but just wanted to share our happy happy news!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your prayers! We are absolutely filled with joy!

 "Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!" Psalm 47:1-2

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hard Times...But Worth The Wait!

I've been so busy lately now that I'm working full time, and haven't had much time to keep up with my blog, but I know that people have been wondering what's been going on, so I thought I would do another update.

Well, we are STILL waiting for a referral.  I didn't think we would still be waiting at this point, but there are a lot of things that have happened in our adoption that we didn't expect, and probably still more to come. For those of you who don't know, there has been some movement in our agency. They have had two referrals so far, but nothing at all last week. Referrals are definitely not coming in order (this was no surprise, but we secretly hoped they would anyway). ;) The children are cute (of course) and seem to be a bit older now (around 12 months).  Seems like they are referring the ones that have been waiting the longest because of the EP delay, so that's what we are kind of expecting at this point, but you never know with Korea. ;) We don't care about having an older child. There are some concerns about attachment, language, and other issues associated with adopting an older child, but we know that God has handpicked this child for us and we can rest in His decision! 

The past few weeks have been up and down for us. One day we are encouraged by movement, the next day, we wonder if will hear anything at all. We also have been hit hard by some financial issues too. We had been told that it would be in our best interest to go ahead with the homestudy update. We are too close for comfort now and if something goes wrong it could cause us some major delays in accepting our referral. Our update is another $1000 we didn't expect to pay!  We also were recently reminded that we will likely need to hire an attorney to finalize our adoption. I had known we needed this, but just forgot about adding it to our final adoption expenses. In the midst of all of this, we also found out our dog, Rosie, needs to have surgery to remove her bladder stones.  Again, we know the Lord will provide. It's the timing that is hard for us right now.

We thought we would be celebrating a referral during Thanksgiving, but now we aren't even sure we will have one for Christmas.  We also aren't really sure how to pray lately. Should we believe that God will give us a referral soon, or should we be praying for continued faith to trust in His timing? We know that God is capable and wants to provide the desires of our hearts, but our past has shown that God often has other plans for us. We would love it if you all would pray for us and help fill in the gap during this time. This waiting is really getting to us!

Throughout this whole journey, I have always heard adoptive parents say,

"Adoption is hard...but it's WORTH THE WAIT!"

I'm VERY much looking forward to the day when I can know this truth!  Thank you all for thinking of us during this time. Don't know how we could get through this without you!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What's NEW?

So, I thought I should send a little update to let people know the latest. As much as we hoped we would have a referral in November, the chances are pretty slim now. Referrals are still being held off until the last of the families have traveled to Korea to pick up their babies. From my knowledge, it looks like the last family is there now. We were told referrals should resume at the end of November, but I'm assuming that for us it will probably be sometime in December.  I would be lying if I said I'm not disappointed in this news. I thought November was going to be the month! I would often pull up the calender on my computer and just stare at each day and wonder which day I would hear this wonderful news. I know it's silly, but that's what adoption does to you! ;) I wanted so badly not to celebrate another holiday without a baby! I thought how wonderful it would be to rejoice with my family this year on Thanksgiving that our journey of becoming parents has finally come to an end!  Again I thought, "surely this is God's plan!" But looks like He has something else in store. 
Along with that, we have also been told that our home study will expire soon. We (well, mostly Bryan) have been making calls to try to figure out what the next steps will be for us regarding this update. Right now, it looks like it stands that it is possible that we may not have to do an update, BUT we would have to receive a referral and send in the acceptance paperwork in a very quick manner in order to prevent this from happening!  If we do not receive a referral soon, we will have to begin the process of updating our homestudy, and that would cost another $1000!! So, there is now a monetary reason we need this referral to happen SOON!
I admit that some days I am on pins and needles waiting for this referral.  Seems like the longer we have to wait, the more chance there is for something to change.  My sweet friend asked me the other day, "How do you do it? How do you manage this disappointment every day?" And I told her that I guess I'm just used to it. But really, now that I think about it, I know that it's God that gets me through it. If I didn't know God or rely on Him for His strength, I know this would have me beaten! I am reminded once again, that when I am weak, God is strong for me! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Patience Please!

I have to admit, I haven't been the most patient person lately. Even though I know that there is a chance we could still be waiting a while for our referral, I can't help but think every day, that this could be the day! This has really been keeping me on edge all week!  At the same time, I've thought that I just can't imagine it happening at all. I can't imagine getting that phone call! How can I go over 5 years wanting and praying for something so much, and just like that, I'm a momma?!
So, needless to say, this week has been tough. But I'm just trying to go day by day, remembering that faith in God includes faith in His timing too! Thank you all for your prayers.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday


On Orphan Sunday, Christians stand for the orphan. We are a people called to defend the fatherless...to care for the child that has no family...to visit orphans in their distress.  Please take time today to remember to pray for and see what our part would be to help the 147+ million orphans around the world.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November is Here!

Well, in case you didn't know, the countdown has begun! It's November, so that means referrals are coming!! Wonder when that happy day will be? I'm guessing we will start hearing something in the next few weeks. Whether or not that means us, I can't know for sure, but we have high hopes for it!! :)
I'm praying that day is just around the corner! And I'm praying for my friends, Christy and Kelly, number 1 and number 2 on our agency's list! So thankful for you girls and the others in our adoption group that have offered so much needed love and support during this difficult wait.  Couldn't make it without yall!
May this month be a blessing to the many who wait!
So, any guesses on when that happy day might be for us? You won't win a prize or anything (you'll have to go to Kelly's blog for that.) ;) But it might be fun to guess! :) Here is a hint, referrals usually come in on Monday or Tuesday of each week with our agency, so that may help.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

 Today was supposed to be our baby's due date.  Once we were pregnant, I was anticipating the fall season because it was to bring our little miracle into the world, but since our miscarriage I have dreaded this day.  Bryan hugged me this morning, once he realized what the day was, and asked me if I was okay. I told him that it hadn't felt much different yet. I have to admit too, that I was a bit distracted because we had Bryan's sister staying with us this weekend, but I didn't mind the distraction.  Even though I wanted to acknowledge this day, I didn't want to make a big deal about it by announcing it to everyone. But then we went to church, and God did something very special for us that I felt I just had to share.
So, just a little background information first.  One of the best ways, for me personally, to get through trials is worshiping God through music. Christian music always changes my perspective and I find much needed comfort through it. Whenever I had anxiety about something, Bryan would put Christian music on because he knew the Lord would speak to me and change my heart. God had done this so many times through my trials, and my miscarriage was no different.  Around the time we lost our baby, a song called "Blessings," by Laura Story came out. I cannot say enough how much comfort I found in this song! I felt it was written just for me! And because it was new, it got played a lot on the Christian radio station. Every time I would hear it, it would make me cry, but it also brought me the right perspective on our situation. And because I heard it so much while I was healing, I always associate it with our angel baby in heaven. Time went by, and through the summer I would hear the song less and less. And recently had actually forgotten about it because I hadn't heard it in so long.
Then we went to church this morning.  And just as worship was winding down and we took our seats, the singers came out and in a few notes, I knew what song it would be. It was the song that always reminded me of my baby. They were singing Laura Story's "Blessings," and they were singing it on my baby's estimated due date! While I listened, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. We have never heard them sing it before. Bryan grabbed my hand as we fought back tears.  We thought we were the only ones who knew of this significant date, but God quickly reminded us that He too remembered! I know that this may not seem like a big deal to some, but for us, it was so special. A special little moment between us and God just letting us know once again that He cares! And once again, that these trials in this life, can be blessings in disguise.

If you have never heard this song, please take a few moments to listen. I pray it may encourage you through your trials as well...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Number 1 Celebration!

I noticed on my ticker today it was a very special day! :) We have been waiting 1 year, 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day for our referral! What better way to celebrate than with some Korean food! :)

Bryan waiting for our food at the new Rice B's Korean Restaurant!
Checking out some Korean snacks!

Beautiful artwork with verse Mark 9:23, "Jesus said to him, "All things are possible to him who believes."

 Beef Bulgogi with veggies, Kimchi and Mandu! Yum!

Really need to get better at these chopsticks! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Good Deals and God's Provision

It's no secret I like good deals! It's not easy living off one income around here and save for our adoption. When I was working full time as a nanny, not only did God place a huge desire in my heart to be a mom, but a stay at home mom at that. Bryan felt the same way too, but we knew it would be a huge challenge to afford (especially on his salary). But just like when we decided to trust God with our adoption, we also wanted trust Him with this too.  So, at the time the family that I was a nanny for moved away, and we decided to pursue our adoption, we also decided to try and see if we could make living off one income work. I have had to learn to be very thrifty. We weren't big spenders anyway, so this was going to be some task.  Well, it didn't take long, and I discovered couponing. I'm sure everyone knows now about couponing because of the TLC show, but 2 years ago, couponing was actually not as known as it is now. I really felt that it was a miracle that I stumbled across a website one night and listened to a online seminar about it.  So, once I started couponing, and got good at it, I was actually able to cut our grocery budget by 60% and often times even more!  As much as it saved us though, it didn't save quite enough. We had to reevaluate our budget. We cut our cable, we didn't eat out, we didn't buy clothes, and we continue to drive our paid for, 14 year old cars, all to make this dream of mine of being home with our children come true.  And let me just say, this has NOT been easy. It's so hard to say no sometimes to friends or family when they want to go out to eat and do something fun. It's hard to have to figure out another outfit to wear to church when you have so few options. It's hard to drive around a beat up car with no air conditioning.  But when I think about why I'm doing this, I know I wouldn't trade it for the world.  We have been able to pay all our bills, tithe, and even give occasionally. Sometimes it doesn't make sense to us where money comes from, but we know that God has been providing for us.  Not only has He provided for me to be at home, but also for our $30,000+ adoption along the way! Even when it looked like there was no way we could do it,  God managed to make it work and continues to make it work! So, this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for good deals, yes, but more importantly I am thankful for the One who provides them!

And just for fun, here are some of the good deals God has provided via craigslist for our soon to come little one. ;)

Our 360 Degree Clip On High Chair- $30!

Our Dutailier Glider- $15!

Our Radio Flyer Wagon- $10!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Surprises!

This Thankful Thursday I would like to honor my sweet hubby for his incredible effort in making my 30th Birthday such a wonderful one!  Bryan has known for years that I was NOT looking forward to my 30th! I had always had a goal that I would have all my children by the time I was 30! As it got closer, my goal changed to that I just wanted to at least be a momma by 30.  It was obvious that that goal would not be met in time, and my wonderful husband wanted to somehow make my birthday special anyway. So he surprised me! Not just once, but THREE times! Let me also say, Bryan is not a big fan of surprises.  He doesn't like the risk in it. Too many things have to go right so everything will fall into place, and he doesn't like to chance things. So, the fact that he did this, caught me way off guard!
Surprise One
Bry had been planning this for months! In September he told me he was going to take me to Myrtle Beach for a weekend getaway for my early birthday present! I was so excited, because we never got a chance to have a vacation because our miscarriage happened right before we were going to leave. He knew how much I wished we could have got away and just relax with my family, so he went ahead and planned this for me early, so that we would have nice weather. And it was a perfect weekend! It was only a few days, but it was way more than I ever expected. He got a great Groupon deal for the resort we stayed at and we used restaurants.com coupons to eat out, so we didn't really have to spend too much money!  My hunny knows how much I appreciate a bargain! ;) It was by far the most perfect birthday present I have ever gotten. It was much needed and much appreciated!
Surprise Two
So, now we have reached the end of September, and I had made plans with my parents to come up to Georgia and stay with them for a few weeks. We were going to meet them in Columbia since we were already there visiting Bryan's family, but when I called my dad, he said he wouldn't be able to do it because of work and he would try to meet us another time. But little did I know Bryan had be scheming for months for another surprise. After visiting with Bryan's family in Columbia, we made our way back home to Charleston instead of me going to Georgia like I had originally planned. It was late and I walked in the house first. When I opened the door I noticed immediately that it was cold. I thought it was weird that Bry left the air conditioning running. And then just as I was about to come in and turn on the lights, I heard a baby laughing. Terrified,  I immediately turned around and ran back outside and told Bry that there was someone in the house. My heart was racing and was so scared. Bryan took my hand and walked me back in. I was so confused, but trusted Bryan knew what he was doing to take me back in that house! We came around the corner and then all of the sudden, I saw Cooper, my nephew holding a happy birthday balloon! The source of those baby noises! Then I heard people shout "Surprise!" and out came the rest of my family! I was so shocked and wanted to cry, but I was still so confused! At first I didn't even think Bryan knew about it, but later I found out he was the mastermind of this plan to get my family down to Charleston. It had been a long time before I had my whole family visit us, and he knew that it would make me so happy to have them here to visit for a long weekend and celebrate my birthday! Later that night, I found out all the planning that he had to do to keep this all a secret for so long. He created a secret email account called surprisingmonica@g mail.com, so I would not be able to read the exchanges he had back and forth with my family. Things would change, complications would arise, but he ended up pulling off a great surprise. One that I will never forget!
Surprise Three
Once the weekend was over, the plan was for me to go back up to GA with my family and spend two weeks with them. I knew that I was going to miss Bryan! After all, that was a long time to be a part from your spouse! I always love going "home" to the Georgia mountains. It was such a beautiful place to grow up. The sites and smells all bring back fond memories for me, so I definitely was looking forward to my visit. But after about a week, I trully missed my husband and was counting down the days I would be able to see him again. So, finally, my actual birthday comes on October 5th, and I'm sitting at the bar of the kitchen working on one of my paintings and getting ready to have dinner with my family, when the door opened and in comes a sight for sore eyes...my Bryan!! Three days earlier than expected!! I immediately exclaimed "Bryan!" followed by lots of clapping! (I know, I'm a dork!) ;) Again I wanted to cry, but was still so confused! He got me again!  He told me he wanted to be with my on my actual birthday! Man, what a guy! What a joy to be married to such a selfless and thoughtful soul mate!
So after all that, Bryan actually was able to get me to forget how much I was dreading turning 30, and instead remember how much I am blessed to get to spend the rest of my birthdays with him!

Thank you hunny for my much needed surprises!! I love you!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Good News!

Soooo happy to report good news from Barker (our agency)! I spoke with them this morning and she wanted to cut right to the chase. She said she just wanted me to know that Bry and I (and a few other families that have been waiting the longest) were highly advocated for in Korea. She wasn't able to give me 100% confirmation that were still at the top of the list according to SWS (Korean agency) but she said that in every case that they have had communication with them and they reported back saying they would consider it, they followed through with that consideration. She told me she is not worried about it at all, and she even told us that we only had two other families waiting in front of us, making us 3rd on the list!! Just to reiterate, though, even though we are on the the top of the list (as far as waiting the longest), doesn't necessarily mean that they match in chronological order. They consider the needs of the children available first and match with families according to how they feel will best meet these needs. Or, if you are a believer, it happens how God orchestrates the matches ;)
She did say that the month of October would solely focus on getting 5 babies they already have matched approved for travel.  So there will probably be no referrals in October, but should start coming in November and December. She didn't know an exact number of referrals, but she did say that we should expect to be in that group of referrals! 
There were other questions I had, like about the rumors of a price increase, and the age of the children being referred now, but truly I didn't care! I was just so happy to hear good news! Plus, I knew that she would be bombarded with phone calls today and didn't want to keep her. She will follow up with more details about the trip and other information next week through email. So, I will keep you updated with that as well. :)
Thank you so much for everyone's sweet messages of support. Bryan and I thank the Lord for you! 

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting!" -1 Chronicles 16:34

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Year Waiting...

Well, it's our Anniversary! Don't know if it is much cause for celebrating, but it's been One Year Today since our dossier left for Korea. At that time, we thought we would have a four to six month wait for referral. Funny how things change.  Please keep praying for us and South Korea. Two of the ladies from our agency are in Korea RIGHT NOW, and they are finding out critical information about the Korean adoption program and specific information about us.  We hope to know something by next week! In the mean time, I'll just be

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Summer Memories!

Summer is almost coming to an end.  So, for this Thankful Thursday I wanted to reflect on this Summer! As you know, our Spring was not so wonderful (made up of morning sickness and experiencing a miscarriage). But when Summer arrived, our spirits were lifted. God was so good to us this summer.  We were officially back waiting for our referral and we took lots of opportunities to pass the time! 

I'm so thankful for our Summer 2011 memories!

Celebrating with Friends!
Fun at Tuck A Way!

Family Get-Togethers!
Rejoicing Over Miracles!

A Thrifty Concert! :)

A Belated Anniversary Date!

A Much Needed Weekend Getaway!

"The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with JOY!" 
-Psalm 126:3

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Prayers of a Getty Man!

Thankful Thursdays are something I have been wanting to do for a while now.  In light of my last post and all that has been going on lately with South Korea, Bryan and I have felt led to pray even more now for our adoption. I have also felt that I should stop getting so caught up in the negativity around me, and start looking at all the blessings I have! I know that sometimes we can't see them, but often times we can. So, Thankful Thursdays is for that purpose. To encourage me to look at God's abundant blessings on a weekly basis and hopefully encourage you to do the same! ;)

Prayers of a Getty Man

I had several things happen this week that I wanted to write about, but today I wanted my first Thankful Thursday post to be on my nephew, Getty Page (Bryan's sister's oldest son, named for her maiden name.)  I love all my nieces and nephews very much, but Getty has always had a very special place in my heart.  For one, Getty was the reason Bryan and I wanted to start a family. Before I even became a nanny and fell in love with wanting to be a mom, it was Getty Man (his nickname) that really started it all! It was a camping trip, 5 long years ago, that we took with his parents, Gretchen and Brock, and his sister, Jordan.  It was cold and miserable weather that weekend, but I will always remember it as the weekend God inspired us to have children!   Below is a picture of us on that trip. It is of me feeding Getty while his sister, Jordan (or Jo Jo) was helping. He was only 10 months old then!

Today, Getty is a very sweet and tenderhearted 6 year old little boy!  Getty became aware of our infertility a little while back and since then he and Jo Jo have been praying for us to have a baby. Because we aren't around them on a daily basis, we were told by Gretchen that Getty had started praying this on his own when they would have family prayer time. It was so sweet to know that something in his heart was touched by our "situation" and he felt the need to continue to pray for us.
Back in February, when we discovered that we were pregnant, we wanted to surprise Bryan's family by announcing it as we took this photo. Most people reacted afterwards, but you can see Getty in the front row looking up at us. :)

Later, after all the excitement, Getty came up to me and confirmed, "You are having a baby?" and I hugged him and said, "Yes I am, and thank you for praying for me." That afternoon when we ate lunch, Getty prayed and with no prompting from anyone, thanked God for giving us a baby! It was such a special moment.

Since then, as you are aware, things have changed, and our baby is in heaven now. But Getty man still continues to pray.  Yesterday, Gretchen called and told us that Getty has been having problems getting sad and would cry when they drop him off at school. They have been praying with him over this situation for several days, and just yesterday he came home to announce that he didn't cry today! Gretchen told him, "That's great Getty, God answered your prayer!" To which his reply was, "But I've been praying for Aunt Monica and Uncle Bryan to have a baby, and why hasn't that happened yet?" My heart sunk when I heard this! Gretchen explained to him that God would give us a baby when it was the right time. How hard it must be to explain such things to children, especially when sometimes we don't understand it ourselves!  Since yesterday I have just been thinking about this and although it made me sad, I realized what a wonderful blessing this is! Even though it is very difficult to explain our "situation", Gretchen and Brock took on this challenge with their children. It is very easy for people to ignore, and I wouldn't find fault in them if that is how they felt they should handle it. But I'm so glad they did decide to share our struggle with them! Because now, when God gives us this child, not only will our prayers be answered, but Getty's will be too! What a wonderful way God is at work using our testimony to impact the faith of this little 6 year old boy! He will know that he can always pray for something and God will hear it. And that the answer to his prayers may not always come at the time we want it, but it can in God's perfect timing.  It just makes me smile to think about that and see more of the joy in this journey of ours!  I love you Getty Man! I am thankful for you today!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

One of THOSE days!

Most days I do really good with this waiting game. Really, I do! I put it out of my mind and can often find myself looking on the bright side of things. I do enjoy my time with just my hubby and the freedom we have. Most days that works, but there are days it's still hard. This is one of THOSE days.

It's hard to know what's going to happen with our adoption. Our agency tries to assure us, and give us an idea of what we can expect, but, so far, nothing has been predictable. Rules, fees, and especially time lines, have all changed since we started this process! Yes, we knew getting into this, it was going to be tough and unpredictable, but some days it just gets to you! If you don't mind, we could really use some prayer over the next few months. They are crucial in us finding out some very important things about our adoption.

These are two things we would love it if you could pray for...

1. South Korean Government

From what I understand, right now, the Korean government is desperately trying to eliminate international adoption. Ideally this would be great if there was no need for it, but because most of South Korea is still not open to adopting these children domestically, that still leaves MANY orphan children without families and would have to grow up in orphanages if there is no longer an international program! There is so much more I could go on about what is going on over there, but instead of venting, I feel the best thing would be for me to do is just ask for prayer. Please pray that their efforts and priority would change and be more focused on these children finding lifelong loving homes (no matter what country)!

2. Trip to Korea

On September 17th, two ladies from our agency will be going for a week to Korea for updates. This opportunity will help everyone better understand these new changes that will be taking place regarding international adoption, and they will be able to give us waiting families a better idea of what we can expect. They will also be able to specifically ask about where Bryan and I are in the process. As of right now, we are still unsure about that, due to our being put on hold when we got pregnant. So, please pray that this trip would be successful in finding out as much as possible and for the news to be good (Specifically, our desire is that we find out that we can expect a referral this Fall)!

Please, please, please join us not only in prayer, but believing that God will do this for us!!! We so desperately want this wait to come to an end and have our baby in our arms! Sometimes it seems like it's never going to happen.

Thanks everyone, for your much needed prayerful support!

Monday, August 15, 2011

SO Ready for Fall!

I don't know about y'all, but I'm ready for fall! It's not because of the heat. Although it's been a scorcher, you will never find me complaining of the heat. In fact, Summer is my favorite time of the year! I'm probably the only person in the world you know that likes summer as much as I do. I actually went about 6 weeks with no air conditioning in my car this summer! I'm not sure why I am this way, but I do know these sunny warm days make me smile!

So, why am I ready for fall?

Could it be the leaves changing?

Pumpkin carving?

Thanksgiving turkey?

Cozy sweaters and scarves?

Yes! All these things are great! But what I'm really ready for is...

A Phone Call!!!

A phone call announcing we have a child!

Hoping and praying that this fall brings the referral of our long awaited little one!

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Blog

As you can see, I have a new blog! I have been wanting to separate my business from my personal life into two separate blogs for a while now, so I finally did it! Well, kind of. I'm still in the process of transferring all my old entries over and reorganizing my Getty Art Studio blog, but it should be done soon. :)

I called this blog Joy in the Journey because I want it to reflect my personal life journey and an awareness of the joy in the midst of it. Right now, my hubby and I are experiencing our journey to parenthood, and it has definitely had it's difficulties, but it has also had it's share of blessings. I have been inspired by this recent journey and felt God convicting me to be more observant of His abundant blessings and the joy available to me.
I am fully aware that life can be hard, and I don't doubt I will still have many days ahead of me and blog posts to reflect that, but my faith tells me that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28), so I believe there can always be Joy in the Journey, if you are looking for it! ;)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Adoption Update

I wanted to give everyone an update of what the latest is with our adoption. I was hoping to wait and get more clarity on things, but I thought it would be best to share what we know so far… Once we were no longer pregnant, we wanted to make sure that we could pick back up on our adoption. So, many phones calls and emails to our agency later, we were back to active status as of June 13th! We actually weren’t officially put on hold until April 19th, so we really were only on hold for less than 2 months. However, according to our agency, this does not necessarily mean that we get to be placed right back where we were in line, so to speak. It is the agency in Korea that decides these things. Barker, our agency here, explained our situation in email to them and had requested that they would honor where we were in our wait, (which had been 7 months at the time they put us on hold). They quickly received a reply from SWS (our South Korean agency), that they would consider that request. Barker thought that sounded very promising and was encouraged by their response. I, on the other hand, didn’t 100% see it that way. It wasn’t like a guarantee or anything. It was more like a “we will think about it” type of response. But to help ease our pain a little, we were told that two of the ladies from Barker will be traveling to Korea in September and they would specifically ask about us and where we were in the wait. Hopefully by end of September, we will know whether or not we got put back where we were or if we are starting over in our waiting. So, right now, there is no way to know for sure where we are in the process. There have also been other recent changes (surprise, surprise) to the Korean program. This is kind of a complicated thing to explain, but I will try to keep it as simple as possible. There are only a certain amount of international adoptions the Korean government allows each year. They issue what they call, EPs (exit permits), which basically gives the adoptive parents permission to come to Korea, get your child, and bring them into the United States. Well, apparently our agency has already run out of EPs for this year, which means no more referrals until the fall. Travel will then happen at the beginning of next year (February-ish) when the Korean government issues a new batch of EPs. There is a lot more involved than this, but I didn't want to overwhelm you too much. I know it is tough to understand this adoption lingo. ;) So, basically, at the earliest, we might be able to receive a referral this fall and travel at the beginning of the year. But like I said, that is the earliest. At worse, we could be waiting another few years. I am hopeful that we will get a referral soon, but at the same time, with all the changes that have been happening lately, I can’t help but be a little guarded. I am praying for God’s will and that I will be content in whatever that may be. On a brighter note, we received another grant! It was from a great organization called, Katelyn’s Fund. I submitted the application back in December and didn’t expect to hear anything at this point. We actually got the call soon after our miscarriage, and felt like it was such an encouragement during that time. We had an interview with a panel on speaker phone and each one of them prayed over us and our adoption. They were so kind to us and I felt so honored that they would give us a $3000 grant! It was such a blessing because my surgery after I miscarried cost us almost $3000. This money was going to be taken from our savings we set aside for our adoption, so God provided the same amount to cover it and keep us back on track for our adoption! So, as far as our adoption expenses go, we have enough to accept our referral and pay the rest of our agency fees, which was, by far, our biggest hurdle! The only amount we have left is basically our travel costs and expenses (around $6000)! If you haven’t realized by now, God is so good!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Trusting Him

To be honest, I have been kinda delaying in writing this post. Because, for one, I struggled with how much I should share; and two, I didn’t look forward to painfully replaying things in my head again when I just wanted to move on. But I knew when I started this blog, I wanted it to be a shared, ongoing testimony of our journey of becoming parents, complete with struggles and miracles. When God first inspired us to adopt, I knew this was going to be a BIG thing, and I wanted to document how He was going to make this happen. I’m probably the most extremely inadequate person to ever write a blog, as I have a hard time explaining things, my grammar and spelling are atrocious, and sometimes I don’t feel sufficient enough in my walk with God to be able to express how truly amazing He really is. But I feel led to do this, and believe, even in all my inadequacies, the Lord can still use me in some way to bring Him glory. So, after much prayer, this is what I felt led to share… It’s been almost a month now since we found out we lost our baby. On May 19th, we had made an appointment to determine the sex at a 3D ultrasound facility. Bryan’s mother and sister joined us to share with us what we believed would be some of the happiest news of our lives. Instead, it was the saddest moment of our lives. Our technician told us we needed to see my doctor because something was wrong. We eventually discovered our baby had passed at about 16 weeks. We were devastated, to say the least, and mourned the loss of our miracle baby that had taken 4 and ½ years to conceive. I experienced a lot of different emotions at first, but mostly I just felt sad. I don’t think I have ever felt that utterly sad before. I will hold off on much of the details, because it isn’t my goal to make you all feel sorry for me or Bryan. Instead, if possible, I would like to encourage you with what God has taught us through this storm. Yes, we were sad. Our hearts ached. We were confused and just didn’t understand. But for the first time, we chose to look at this situation differently. You see, Bryan and I have been here before. I don’t mean that we have had a miscarriage before or experienced even close to a loss like this, but we have experienced the deep heartache of infertility. I would have to say that although this miscarriage was the saddest moment of my life, our struggle with infertility was the hardest. Throughout our first few years of infertility, I struggled with my relationship with God. I was very angry with Him that He chose this life for me. He gave me a heart to be a mother and yet not a womb to carry children! I have cried out to Him with my face in the ground and felt abandoned by Him. My heart ached so much it physically hurt and I begged Him to take my life if I could never be pregnant. Fast forward (about one year and four months ago), God revealed something better to me, His plan for our lives...adoption. You have heard me say this before, but God suddenly opened our eyes to the world of adoption and we couldn’t look back. He revealed to us that adoption was not second best to biologically building a family; it was just as amazing, but in a different way. Believe it or not, we actually grew thankful for our infertility and considered it a blessing. If not for that, we would have NEVER considered adoption. So, you see, even though we were sad when we lost our baby, we could not fall into that pattern of self-pity and anger with God. Before we had ever become pregnant, we had already experienced firsthand that our plans are not His plans, and that His plans are definitely better than what we could ever imagine. We had to choose to exercise our faith and trust that God has a reason for this too. Yes, we miss our baby. More than I ever thought possible. Along with this adoption, we truly experienced a love for a child that we haven’t even met, and it’s heartbreaking to be separated. But I am comforted in knowing he or she is dwelling in the Lord’s glory and cannot ever be hurt by the pain and sin here on earth. I cannot forget the miracle He gave us in that baby we never thought we could conceive, and will forever be grateful that, if I never become pregnant again, I got to at least carry this angel for 4 months. We know we will, one day, get to hold our baby in our arms and spend the rest of eternity together in heaven. There is no doubt that life is hard and we all experience storms. But God is able to comfort you and can bring you peace when you never thought it was possible. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5 for us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding…” We are so limited in our view here on earth. We can’t see the purpose in all things and what lies ahead, but God can. He promises us that His plans are good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). So knowing all this, it is way easier for me to trust Him, than it is for me to suffer and wonder why. This is just my story, but I pray that God will use it to inspire you to trust Him as well. To all of you who follow our journey and are prayer warriors for us, thank you. I plan to keep sharing our updates with you as He continues to expand our testimony of parenthood.