Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Before you.....Now

....Before you I would have never read so much world news

....Before you I did not know what it was like to miss someone you had never met

....Before you I felt that a piece of me was somehow missing

....Before you I never imagined how much faith adoption takes

....Before you I didn't understand why God wouldn't say yes to another biological baby

....Before you I never knew or understood how many orphans were in this world

....Before I even know who you are, you are a part of my forever family

....Now I think of you every single day

....Now I pray everyday that God will help me conquer the anxious feeling around all of the uncertainty adoption brings

....Now I will do anything in my power to get you home

....Now I'm praying for peace in Korea

....Now I wonder what your birth mom must be feeling

....Now I want to thank her so much for the gift of you

....Now I cannot wait to meet you and be your mommy

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beautiful gifts

I'm overwhelmed by the generosity shown by others.....

Over 2,500 stuffed animal donations received
1,393 sorted and approved for donation, cleaned and sanitized
All together 713 pounds of animals
36 boxes on their way to Haiti right now


I was incredibly happy and humbled to help our very surprised local UPS man (who thought I just had one box for him to pick up) load them into the truck...side by side with my wonderful hubby. The generosity that has been shown in the past few months with these donations has really been something. These animals have come from all over, from folks that just wanted to be a comfort to these kids. Here are just a few examples:

*Former co-workers gathering them
*3 different girl scout troops
*2 elementary schools
*3 children's birthday parties
*A mom who just lost her child and donated all of his animals
*2 large companies
*2 churches
*A mom's group
*And many other families that had to heart to donate these animals instead of just tossing them away

I originally wanted to post a picture of all of the animals in my living room, but with the numbers so high, I had them everywhere, so that wasn't really possible! I did manage to get pictures of the boxes before we shipped them out in our living room and I have included them.

To everyone that has donated or helped to get the word out for SAFE, thank you so much! OK, thank you doesn't even begin to cover it. You have helped a child. YOU have made a difference! That stuffed animal is something they will cherish. You have given the gift of hope, shown that child that someone cares no matter how dire their situation may be. It will be something they will carry with them the rest of their lives. Below is a picture of the boxes before their shipment and the others are from Loving Hugs, which is the organization I'm working with to get these to Haitian children.


A Haitian family that had been living on a tug boat receiving a donation

Stuffed animals at work

Too precious....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Understanding Mother's Day in a new way

I was filled with all sorts of feelings yesterday. My girls were so sweet and my kitchen table had hand written cards and treats on it whenever I got up. They were so excited, especially Kyleigh who is horrible at keeping secrets and had managed to hide my present the entire weekend. She was so proud of herself I think!

Instead of being focused on the Mother's Day I was having with my kids, my thoughts quickly wondered to other moms and how they felt on that day. Those moms that have lost children in the past year, those moms that are still struggling with infertility, those moms like myself in the waiting process, foster moms who know they will be handing over those babies they have taken such good care of and grown to love and those birth moms...who have made the selfless decision for their babies to initiate an adoption plan.

The referral dry spell was broken this past week and four referrals were announced! That puts us at #12 I'm thinking. That means that we are still on track to get our referral in the next 6 months or so....that means that our baby's birth mom has either already made her tough decision or will be making it soon. She was on my mind strong all day yesterday....wondering what things might be like for her....hoping she knew that in her decision to pursue an adoption plan that her baby has a family half way around the world that is eagerly waiting for them and loving them so much already. There seems to be quite a bit of activity again, so I am hoping still to have our baby home and in our arms by this time next year.

We also dedicated our girls during our church service yesterday, which was a real honor. I am so happy to have found such a great church family that supports us. I wasn't sure how the girls would do about getting up on the stage, but they did well. Kyleigh couldn't believe how bright it was up there and was squinting and trying to look out the entire time. Gives you a different perspective for the worship team!

I am SO incredibly thankful and blessed to be a mommy and I hope all mommy's out there had a wonderful day yesterday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Relay for Life

Saturday was our annual Relay for Life cancer walk in our community. We started doing the kid's walk last year and were gearing up for this years. Unfortunately, we had more folks to walk for, but I think it's a great opportunity to share with my girls.

Here they were starting out. We do the first lap for everyone who has been affected by cancer in any way.

Then we do a lap for every two people in honor or in memory of. I put their names on paper and the girls decorate the paper as we talk about or remember them.

In memory of my dad (Papa Price) and little Jolee who you guys have read about on my blog

It was so hard to see my dad's name again. I was glad it was a sunny day and I had my sunglasses on because I was wiping my tears. Miss my dad so much.

In honor of my husband ("our daddy") and in memory of my husband's grandmother ("our Granny"). This was a tough lap for Kyleigh...who was greatly affected by granny's passing. Even though she was only 4, they were incredibly close and she still talks about her always. We all miss Granny.

In honor of my mom ("Nannie") and Sandra (my sis in law's mom)

In memory of Bobby's grandfather ("Grandpa Byers") and Mark (sis in law's dad)

If you hadn't noticed, we picked up another walker at this stage and Kyleigh's face has lit up. *J* joined us from Kyleigh's school for the last few laps.

This is just my favorite picture yet. She walked all those laps with such determination and even though it was hot and long, he held those signs up with a smile on her face :-)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I'm UP...then I'm DOWN

So, another Friday comes and goes and again, no referrals. It's been almost 3 months of dry, heart breakingly no news emails. I know, I'm whining. I was just scratching my head. I mean, we usually would get at least one a month! So, I decided to email our agency....just to ask if they knew what was going. With all of the negative publicity adoption has gotten lately, I have had my fill of folks asking me if they thought international adoption would shut down completely. Although I know it's crazy to let thoughts like that encroach into your brain, when the referrals all of a sudden stop at the same time, you begin to wonder!

Anyway, so I emailed, just asking if they knew if things were on hold for a bit....really if they knew anything they could tell me to ease this mama's waiting heart. It's so hard to write those emails and know the right way to ask...I know things are out of their control too and I'm sure they get them all of the time.

So they respond back with "Actually, we have just been told we are getting some next week...and I'm pretty sure there is one for you :-)

WHAT?! Tears of sheer excitement and joy! I'm yelling for my hubby somewhere in the house to come read this email! My kids are asking me what in the world is the news?! So, so very excited!

Then, I realize they have sent me another email. They apologize, but got our name mixed up with another very familiar family name. We will not be getting a referral next week. We still have some undisclosed longer time to wait.

And just like that, my balloon popped. Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly excited for those families receiving their referrals, and it's GREAT news that we are even getting them again! But, my heart just sunk. They felt so bad I know.

Phew, this waiting stuff is hard. I cannot believe next month will be a year since we started our process. I thought a year would feel like forever...and some days it has, but all in all it has flown by. I know that the child that is meant for our family will be, whether that referral happens next month or next year. I do pretty good on most days, but that mix up has just seemed to make it worst...now I'm missing them even more, wondering where they are, if they are safe, how long it's going to be before I see their face.