Thursday, July 29, 2010

What if I say something wrong?

Today JW and I are having our individual interviews for our home study.  We had to write a very detailed autobiography about our childhood, teenage years, college life and our current lifestyle.  These questions really make you think about the way you were raised and how important it is to either follow or change the way you want your own children to be raised based off your own upbringing.  It really opened up some past memories both good and bad.

Anyways, we are about to head to Birmingham right now and I know that I shouldn't be too worried because our social worker, Claire is awesome!  Luckily we didn't get a scary one ;-)  It does make me nervous though because as some of you may know I am not a very verbal nor open person.  I am told that she is going to ask questions all about our past and present to just find out who we really are.  I just keep thinking though - "What if I say something wrong????"

I will let y'all know how it goes! Keep praying for our baby Zoe Grace!

 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Olivia's new baby doll!

Our sweet neighbor "Dee Dee" got Olivia her first Cabbage Patch doll ! :)

Olivia checking out her new baby doll, Kendall.
She loves her!
Night night Olivia and Kendall

 

So, the paperwork begins!

Piles and piles of paperwork and a few home-studies and we will then be on the home stretch. We are not “announcing” until we are done with our home-study though. It can be thought of as a pregnancy, we need to get through all the paperwork and the home-study (1st Trimester) before we are in the “safe zone” to announce that we are expecting a precious little girl sometime this spring! Before the home study could have even begun we had to decide who we wanted to use as our adoption agency to help us bring home our precious Zoe Grace. While researching this JW kept feeling a little awkward about it and at moments I did as well. We were looking on line to try to figure out the best place to go “get a child”. He asked me if I felt sometimes like we were shopping online or trying to pick out a puppy or something. After laughing about it, we focused and with the help of a counselor at Lifeline in Birmingham, we focused, researched and set our sites on Arise for Children out of Louisville, Kentucky. So the application process began. . . ugh! It is SOOO much paperwork and my soon to be (hopefully) lawyer husband is very meticulous about sitting down, reading every fine word, highlighting things we should remember, making notes on legal pads and having a portable expandable file folder in chronological order to help us stay organized. I tell you – the man can’t fold clothes, but he sure can keep paperwork organized. We mailed off our initial application on June 23, 2010.

We received a phone call on June 30, 2010 from Cindy our case worker in Kentucky – telling us we were ACCEPTED ! ! ! ! We would be getting a baby as long as our home-study and international paperwork was fine. We also got back a letter on July 3, 2010 stating that we were accepted officially and included was our adoption contract.  :)

July 3, 2010
We've been ACCEPTED !!

Dinner with the Rachel and Brad

June 20th, the following Sunday night we went to Rachel and Brad’s for dinner and spent the evening talking about everything, getting to know each other, watching our girls play together, but mainly talking about and discussing adoption. They probably didn’t realize they would be interviewed by us and be asked a million questions about why they are adopting, what led them to do it at that point in their lives, how they chose Uganda and the entire process. Rachel and Brad were good sports and answered every question without hesitation. JW and I really felt inspired by them and right away felt so pulled towards adopting. That night at home we talked and both decided that it wouldn’t hurt to just “look” into adoption; it wasn’t like we would bring a child home tomorrow so we could look and then decide later down the road when we felt like it was the “right time” for us. I also want to take this moment to show how even in the most friendly and relaxed settings, you can be used as a messenger and example for Christ. Usually that is the hardest times to imagine that you can witness or lead someone, but it can actually turn into the best teaching and testifying time – as it was when we were talking to Rachel and Brad.

Back to the story – JW and I really started to pray about adoption and began to really feel like now is the “right time” for us. There are hundreds of blogs and youtube videos and we have seen so many, it tends to be one of our favorite pastimes these days, but we would always hit that moment at night when it was time for the computer or Ipad to be put down, the soft ,moving and touching Christian songs to be turned off, and the tear jerking youtube videos to stop playing – it was that time that we would always and still do, open up and talk to each other about what we were thinking about doing. It was then that we really started focusing on praying together – holding hands – each taking a turn just speaking to God asking him to lead us. Telling him we were a blank drawing board and we were ready for him to tell us how to start drawing out our lives. Now the youtube videos that I mentioned – one of the first videos that pulled at our hearts was one that my friend Ashley mentioned to me one day at lunch, not knowing that this was something that was being put on my heart so heavily. The video is called “Lucy Lane's Gotcha Day” and their blog is weloveourlucy.blogspot.com.  We could think of a million reasons why we should adopt but no REAL reason to why we shouldn’t. There are hundreds of excuses to why we shouldn’t but we could not deny that God had a plan for us and that we could not fight it any longer. We took a deep breath, said “God, you’re in control,” let go and have just been holding on to the ride since then.

Let’s start at the beginning . . .

Hello everyone! Welcome to our blog about our sweet Zoe Grace. We have been meaning to get this blog started in order to keep everyone up to date on our process, but we are a little slow getting it all together. I am definitely not the writer in the family but here we go…

Some of you may be asking – who is Zoe Grace? Well let me fill you in…

JW and I are ADOPTING ! ! ! Now that all of the oxygen has been sucked out of the room from everyone gasping, let me catch you up to speed on where everything is and tell you how our journey began. Ever since JW and I met back in 2005 and started dating we have both always discussed our love for children and our desire to adopt. This topic always seemed to be something we talked about but in reality never imagined it happening! Especially so soon. Well we are now well in the process and if all the paperwork goes smoothly we will be traveling to Ethiopia to meet our precious daughter in the spring (2011).

JW and I moved to Montgomery 3 years ago (May 2007) and just recently we have really felt at “home". On the outside everything seemed perfect – great jobs, newlyweds, a couple of dogs and cats, a new house, and here recently a perfect little girl. But deep inside we both felt like something was missing. Nothing between the two of us. We never doubted that it was something that the other was or wasn't doing - but we felt like something was missing from our lives as a couple. So we really started to open our hearts to God completely - and in all areas, not just the ones that we felt comfortable, we started praying together harder and we allowed God to speak to us…and boy has He!!

God came into our lives at full force and we could not be happier!! He led us to our new church, Saint James and introduced us to a fabulous new group of friends where JW and I finally feel at “home". Don't get us wrong, we loved our previous Church but we felt that God was pulling us in another direction.  Then God really started to speak to us. While at first we weren't sure what he was saying - or we were deliberately trying not to listen, it happened anyways. We kept asking ourselves, "We have found a church and made new friends, what more could there be?" Then we stopped and realized that what had just happened in our lives, all of the wonderful blessings from God - they were all gifts to us, for us. But what had we done for him? What did we do to make us worthy of such amazing friends and such a stable and wonderful life? Then it hit us both one day, almost at the same time - we were being led to this point in our lives so that we could be equipped to be led on this amazing journey God had in store for us. Adoption.

At this point we had really been "talking" about adoption for a couple of months but we always said okay, but not until later down the road, or we would like to - however I'm going to give you a list of 25 reasons why we shouldn't.

Well on June 13th, we went to a ‘Get to know Saint James’ class and as we were sitting there listening to Lester speak and started going through the SJ staff pages, I noticed someone's bio page that caught my eye - Brad. While reading further into his bio, it said that Brad and his wife Rachel are in the process of adopting a baby from Uganda and that they had a two year old daughter. I pointed this out to JW and this really just pumped us both up with excitement – they were both young, had a young daughter, they were adopting from a foreign country and weren't looked at as being crazy or asked why. I say crazy because I feel like that's how people feel about us adopting but I will discuss that later. So after the meeting was over we approached Brad just to say hello and to meet him – we told him that we saw that he was adopting and how it has always been on our hearts. Right away he invited us to dinner, not even knowing us! He said, "That's awesome. Ya'll should come over and meet Rachel and let us tell you all about our experience."