Monday, March 5, 2012

The Autism Diagnosis

Here I go to finally talk about it. The diagnosis that every parent dreads.  I said it myself when I was pregnant.  I said, God, I can handle anything but autism.

Now here I exhausted little boy sleeping on daddy's lap on the couch.  Tonight he wouldn't go to sleep in his room.  Unusual for him, but nonetheless it could turn into a long night for us.  On nights like tonight it's always a long night.

There are so many circumstances that we think we will never find ourselves in.  We look from the outside at other people's lives and pray that we never have to go through what they are going through.  God has a pretty good sense of humor, doesn't He?  Difficult pregnancy, early birth, bad delivery, 3 weeks of NICU, and now autism.  And yet, I have the best little boy in the world.

Tonight we went through the screams of not wanting to get in his bed to sleep.  He was sensory overloaded from too many new things done in one day, and he just couldn't shut himself down.  He was exhausted, yet couldn't sleep.  When I finally brought him down from him room after an hour of trying to get him to bed and lots of screaming, I sat on the couch with him and he stopped crying, then turn around, looked me in the eyes and kissed me as if to say, "Thank you mommy for helping me".  Then he curled up on my lap.

Those moments are priceless, no matter how we got there.

God has a plan for my precious boy.  I can't wait to see what it is.

"Make friends with the problems in your life.  Though many things feel random and wrong, remember that I am sovereign over everything.  I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust Me.  Every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I created you to be.  The very same problem can become a stumbling block over which you fall, if you react with distrust and defiance.  The choice is up to you, and you will have to choose many times each day whether to trust Me or defy Me."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Life seems too big right now.  Bigger that I can handle...then I wake up and read my devotional for the day:

"I am above all things: your problems, your pain, and the swirling events in this ever-changing world.  When you behold My Face, you rise above the circumstances and rest with Me in heavenly realms.  This is the way of Peace, living in the Light of My Presence.  I guarantee that you will always have problems in life, but they must not become your focus.  When you feel yourself sinking in the sea of circumstances, say "Help me, Jesus" and I will draw you back to Me.  If you have to say that thousands of times daily, don't be discouraged.  I know your weakness, and I meet you in that very place." - Ephesians 2:6; Matthew 14: 28-32

- taken from "Jesus Calling", by Sarah Young

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Harder Than I Thought...

I definitely thought this would be easier.  So far, including our original failed private adoption, we are now up to 3 fails.  Just in the past week our profile was given to two different birth moms and they both picked other families.  I knew this would be hard, but I thought I would handle it better.  It just sure is a lousy feeling knowing that people look at you and reject you.  It's not a matter of patience right now...more of a feeling of inadequacy.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And SOOOO it begins!

Tonight was the first time in a while that we finally got some news about the adoption!  I got an email from the agency saying that there is a birth mom that they are currently trying to match with a family.  They sent us her information and asked us if we would be interested in having our profile sent to her to look at.  OF COURSE WE WOULD! It's been a few months since we've been approved as an active waiting family and I pretty much assumed it would take quite some time before we would make it up to the top of the list.  As the agency said to us when we got approved, "This is the hard part.  You basically sit back and wait."

Scary AND exciting.  There is so much going on right now that I'm not quite sure I feel ready.  First off, we still have about $10,000 to come up with.  Yup, that's right...$10,000 more on top of what we already have raised.  Sheesh.  Really?  This stinks. Really, really stinks.

But it's worth it.

The second "I'm not quite sure I feel ready" reason is that we're still trying to figure out all that is going on with Brayden.  Tomorrow we go back to have our meeting to find out if they are going to diagnose Brayden with autism or not.  I honestly think they are going to say yes, but I honestly don't know if I fully agree right now.  I'm just going to wait to talk with them tomorrow and hear all they have to say before I start my judging.

Deep breaths.

Third "I'm not quite sure I feel ready" reason...I only started my new job less than 3 months ago.  How do you say, "I need time off for a new baby"? Ugh.

All this to say...this is only the first time our profile is being viewed.  There's a big possibility we won't get picked and then we are off to waiting all over again.  Then all of the above doesn't even matter :)

I have to remember that the Lord has a plan for our family.  So what should I do?  Relax....

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I've been missing for quite some time now.  Well, missing from this blog at least.  OK, so that doesn't really mean I've been missing.  That means I've been lazy.  Too lazy and tired to try and put my thoughts together.  I've thought about it about 20 times and then decided against it convincing myself that going to bed was a better use of my brain power.  The reason?  Quite simply, I started my new job.  I like it...really I do.  It's just been an adjustment in many ways.  One of them being my energy level.  The second being missing my family.  Right now I get to see Brayden about 1 1/2 to 2 hours MAX a day.  This honestly breaks my heart, but right now it's my duty to be where I am;  To be providing a way for Jon to finish school, pay our bills, and save money for our adoption.

It's been a tough year, although,  I feel like that is putting it lightly.  Some of it has been great, some not so great. What better time than now to re-cap, right?  I know you want me to....

* This year was the year we decided to officially step back into the adoption world after our failed attempt 3 years ago.  This past January we had no idea which direction we wanted to go in.  International?  Domestic?  Infant?  Older child?  Now, less than a year later our paperwork is complete and we are a "Waiting Family".  It's so amazing!!
* I decided to go back to work full-time to help with saving money for the adoption.
* We met an amazing group of people from our church through joining the Forever Families group, all of which have HUGE hearts for orphan care and adoption.  What a tremendous support system they have been for us.  We are BLESSED.
* Jon got layed off from work.  EEK...welcome stay-at-home saving money for the adoption.
* Jon decided to go back to school..........again :)..........for the last time.  And so starts a long 2 years.
* We learned to simplify our lives: reduce cable TV, get cheap cell phones, stick with old cars, stop buying unneeded clothes, stop eating out, etc...
* Brayden started early intervention services.  It's been a year of advocating for my son after being told "let's just wait" over and over by the doctor.  No thank you.  We didn't wait.  Turns out we had good reason and we were right.
* Both of our cars decided to become "sick" in the course of two days
* We paid the dentist enough to cover his building rent for a month or least.
* Brayden learned all of his colors and shapes :-D.  Proud mama.
* I had to say goodbye to my amazing aunt as she moved to Germany to minster there.
* I also said a mournful goodbye to being able to have anymore children.  I cherish my beautiful son as he is a miracle in more ways than one, and I rejoice as we open our hearts to future adopted baby.
* Jon decided to learn Karate!  Exciting, huh? :-D
* We changed to mostly "real" and organic foods.  Who is rolling their eyes and saying "Oh geez" to this one? I know at least one of you are!  Thank's OK.  You're allowed.
* I changed jobs...

I supposed I could go on and on, but I think I might lose some of my readers to boredom.  I have a feeling that 2012 is not going to be any slower or less chaotic.  I'm learning to tackle it all one day at a time.  Breathe, pray, breathe...and do it all over again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finally Getting Somewhere

Well, two bits of good news!  First, and the most exciting (at least to ME) is that the adoption agency contacted us and we are having a phone interview next week!  One step closer to getting approved and on their waiting list!  I love when I get contacted about little things like this that I didn't know where part of the process.  It makes me feel like I'm DOING something.  After a while of just sitting and waiting you start to become frustrated.  I've been sitting here wondering when someone would contact me about approval, but I wasn't expecting it for a while since their website says approval can take a few months after they receive our packet.  I'm still not sure if we'll be approved soon after this phone interview or not, but hey, at least it's something!

Second, and a big blessing...I start a new job in November!  It was tough decision because I love all the people I work with right now, but, sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith.  Definitely praying that this step will help us breathe a little easier and save the rest of the money we need for this adoption.  When we think there is no hope and that things won't get better, God likes to prove us wrong...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Yup.  That about describes the past few weeks.  I've been avoiding writing a post because there hasn't been much "positive" to report on.  Financially and emotionally it's been one blow after the next.  You'd think I'd be getting used to this by now, because that seems to be the theme lately.  I won't get into it all (because really, who cares about every single one of my financial woes?  I'll spare you the can thank me later :) ), but lets just say things have been topped off this week with both of our cars ending up in the shop in the course of 3 days.

As I sat in the parking lot today after about 10 minutes of trying to start my car, I closed my eyes and was like, "Really, Lord?  Seriously?  More?  Now".  We all go through our ups and downs with how positive we allow ourselves to stay.  A few months ago I would say I was having a great attitude, even when the day brought me frustration and a new battle to persevere through.  Today, not so much.  Today my attitude stunk like Gorgonzola cheese left of the kitchen counter for a week.

That's all folks.  Today, rotten cheese.

Tomorrow...praying for cheese cake.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2 Years Ago....

In two days, September 27th, our precious 3 pound, 9 ounce angel was being born.  I was thinking back on it this morning and started to tear up remembering how hard of a time that was for us.  I remember 6am that morning the doctors walking into my hospital room and telling me they needed to deliver the baby that day...and I lay there thinking, "It's too early.  I'm only 31 weeks pregnant!"  It all happened so fast that I never really had time to process it all.  It never really hit me how sick I was...until after.  I wasn't mentally prepared, but I think that was God's way of protecting me from a meltdown.  If I really thought about it and had the time to sit and realize what was happening and how in danger both of us were, I would have lost it.

About 24 hours after Brayden had been born, I was finally able to go see him.  Prior to that I was too sick.  When they wheeled me up to the NICU, this is how I first saw my sweet baby.

The next day he was started on his jaundice treatment.  He looked so frail and tiny.

We eventually got to hold him a day or two later...

...and we were so in love.

I often felt like I was going to break him when I was holding him...

...because he was just so small...

...but amazingly beautiful.

Now we marvel at how grown he is.  We are so amazingly blessed and privileged to be his parents.  It was all worth it.  Every minute of it.  Happy birthday Brayden.  We love you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Waiting Begins

Our entire pack of papers was sent out to the agency on Saturday! SO unbelievable happy that it is over and done with!  I will not sugar coat it and say that it was easy work.  It was very time consuming (about 6 months!), and yes, a pain in the rear :)...but SO worth it!  I take comfort in the joy that we have now done all we can do.  From here on in it is in the Lord's hands.  Not that it wasn't before too, but there was a lot in MY hands.   There is officially nothing left that Jon or I can do except pray that God places our profile book in the hands of the right birth mother.

Nothing about adoption is easy.  I got a phone call from my mom a few days ago about the birth mom that almost picked us a few weeks ago right before my surgery.  Jon and I were so upset about how much we ran around, trying to make things work on such short notice (because she led us to believe she really wanted to chose us), only to have her chose another family 2 days later.  That was probably one of the craziest weeks of my life.  Well, we found out that she had the baby.  The adoptive family that she chose was at the hospital for the birth...and when she gave birth and saw the baby, she decided to keep him.  There are so many ways to look at this.  Most of you probably look at that mom with anger thinking of how selfish that was, but can you imagine giving your child away under any circumstances?  I know I most certainly could not.  As much as us adoptive parents want a child, isn't it truly the best if a child can stay with their biological parents, as long as it is a safe situation? Yes.  Absolutely.  I grieve for the adoptive family that walked away without a son.  I grieved for us when we thought we were going to have another little boy to love and lost him just as they did.  But, that mamma loved that precious baby boy.  HER boy.

So we continue to wait.  Patiently.  Well, as patiently as we can.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Almost There!

Got a bright orange package in the mail yesterday!  Yup, my family profile books arrived!  Today I faxed over our final clearances to the home study social worker, which means, by the end of the week our whole packet will be out to the adoption agency! SOOO super excited!  Can you tell by my extreme over use of exclamation points???!!!!! :-).  Yippee!  The hard work part is almost over!!!!'

....soon on to the waiting...and waiting...