Camping in Our House.

You guys.

We are sleeping in our new house for the first time! Oh, you didn’t know that we bought a house? That’s probably because I suck at blogging as of late and also because OMGithappenedsofast.

We drove by this house on a Saturday and I said “nah, I don’t want to look at it because it’s a row home and probably isn’t what we want. On Sunday, Bryan went to look at it anyway without me. He called and said “So how would you like a house that has 4 bedrooms plus an office, a formal dining room, a big kitchen, and a bonus room, AND is in our price range?” I was all “Please yes I would like that please.” “Wellllll it’s that house you didn’t want to look at.” So our awesome realtor Blair showed us both the house on Monday, put our offer in and the owner accepted it on Tuesday. For real. They wanted to close 30 days later and we had to slow their roll.

(Seriously though, if you are local-NWA-call Blair Williams asap to be your realtor. He stuck with us even after last yeah when we had him show us houses all over the area and then were like “Haha jk Alex is pregnant so we’re not buying for like another year hahahaha sorrrrryyyy.” He did everything we asked and took amazing care of us. CALL HIM.)

So moving still sucks, in case you were wondering. We have been moving throughout the week and have been stuck in the limbo of two different houses with halfish of our stuff in each of them. Tonight though, we are sleeping here! It’s not as chaotic as I thought it would be, but I still feel like I’m camping out in my own house. I mean sure, our bed is here, but Grady’s is not and neither is his monitor, so I’m typing this all stealthy-like because he is asleep in the rock-n-play beside me and I’d like him to stay that way.

Here are a few of the many piles of un-gone-through stuff that I am choosing to deal with tomorrow instead of tonight. (“LALALA it’s all organized and decorated so you can take a chill pill and go to bed crazy person LALALALA”)

piles1

piles4

piles3

piles2

I’ll try to put together some sort of virtual tour soon for you guys. I know you’re all dying to see an undecorated house with boxes everywhere.

We filmed a virtual tour earlier today TO SEND TO AN ADOPTION HOPEFUL! The kid will be shown our photos and video on Tuesday, so if you’re the praying and/or encouraging words type, we could use all of the things before and on that day.

I’ll keep you posted! Eeeeeeee!

Love, Alex

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The Adoption Thing

So we broke the news to social media land last September that we are looking to rapidly expand our family. I wrote that we were opening up our home to adoption and foster care and that we were seeking two specific kids. I realize that it’s been way too long since I’ve given an update, and those of you that know me IRL have been asking about it and giving us so much support. We are so thankful!

adoption kids

I thought I’d give an update for those that aren’t in the know.

To start with, our home was opened (yaaaay!)! It took much longer than we had anticipated, but I think God knew what He was doing because this hormone-crazed mama would so not have been able to handle it. The second piece of news is not so great. We did not get those two kids. It is ultimately, probably, a blessing. It was decide that their current housing situation would become more permanent, and even though it is sad for us, stability is so great for waiting children.

Our reactions to this news were much different than we expected. I think somehow I saw the writing on the wall and subconsciously prepared myself. Bryan, on the other hand, was pretty heartbroken. Where I was ready to move on pretty quickly (part of which was probably a coping mechanism), Bryan was wanting to take a break and mourn a little longer. I think it was better that way. Even though it was so, so sad, seeing Bryan grieve the loss of kids he never knew reminded me that he is in this and wanting to love children that need it. It’s good to be shown that he’s not just ok with this plan of mine, but that it’s his plan too.

Our original intentions for this were to be a concurrent-planning foster care home, meaning that our home was open to foster kids, but that we are ready and willing to adopt if that became the plan for the child(ren). After these events and my not-so-speedy emotional recovery from having a baby pulled out of me, we decided to be adopt-only for a while, meaning that children who come into our home will already be terminated from their birth parents and on the road to a forever family.

Since all of these events, we have had a couple of calls about kids, and a disclosure meeting about one. We decided that that particular situation was not best for our home right now, and thus are still a 3-person-2-dog family. We have inquiries out on a few kids, however, and we continue to pray about them and hope for the best.

Oh! And we’re buying a house! It happened very quickly, and we move in 3 weeks, which is why I have been more MIA on the blogging. This type-A lady is trying her best to not get overwhelmed and stay organized as I pack and purge and plan (alliteration only somewhat intended).

AAAAAAAHHH wish us luck!

Love, Alex

Digging It (Volume 2)

Digging It

Welcome to Digging It! A weekly segment that links to some awesome stuff I found or watched or tried or bought or read throughout the week.

Enjoy!

video

My dad’s favorite comic strip as a kid was The Flash. Why he didn’t choose a more commercial superhero, I don’t know. But when the CW announced that they were bringing back the fastest man alive for a new series, we got all excited. My dad and I had a little premier party (to which he wore The Flash cape that Bryan and I got him for Christmas a couple of years ago) and I have to say, I really enjoyed it! It’s on the CW, so some amount of teen angst is to be expected, but it’s cool nonetheless.

  • Birth Videos

I’m not linking to this one because if you really want to see, just go to the good ol’ Youtubes. Bryan thinks I’m a freak for watching these, but I’d rather be prepared for whatever horrors are coming my way than not. They still give me the Heeby Jeebies though. Ugh.

Audio

 

This song is old, yes, but I recently rediscovered it while listening to my old favorite study session Pandora station, Deas Vail. Ahh college.

 

 

lit

I’m a big fan of Parks and Rec. There is a big joke in my family that my dad is just like Ron Swanson. My dad is super resistant to watching new shows so he wouldn’t see for himself for a long time, but recently he caved and is now a follower of all things Swanson. These cracked me up and totally sounded like Jon McCurdy-isms.

Don’t read this unless you’re in a good crying situation. This made my heart break and my eyes bawl. This is why We want older children. No one deserves to be unloved and unwanted. It only takes more willing people to fix this broken system. Pleeease consider and pray about adoption or fostering.

written

 

Too Excited to Post…Except for This.

the call logo

So I sat down at my computer…no, you know what? I did more than that. I drove to ANOTHER LOCATION to write in peace and then sat down at my computer, intending to crank out a few blog posts that have been rolling around in my brain, not to mention a What We’re wearing Wednesday because I know you’re all dying to see what maternity gear I’m wearing today. But you know what? I’m a little too excited right now because WE JUST GOT THE CALL FOR OUR HOME STUDY!

YES! We’ve been waiting since we finished training for this call, which finally gets the ball rolling on our final little bit of the process before we can finally be an open home and hopefully get our boys. The problem: Bryan’s out of town and that leaves 8-month pregnant me to clean my messy house and finish off our safety checklist. AAAAAH!

I’m a little overwhelmed/excited/in hyperdrive.

Light some candles for me folks, I’m going in.

The Secret We’ve Been Keeping

Remember all those times when I alluded to something that was going on with me and Bryan that I couldn’t really share yet?

Well, If you follow me or Bryan on Facebook or Instagram, you may have gotten a clue when he posted this: adoption

With this caption–> “Adoption Training Day 1! Wish us luck!”

Yeah.

So on top of everything else we have going on what with HAVING A BABY and all, we’ve made the decision as a family to start our adoption process earlier than we had originally intended.

Adoption has always been on our radar and an ultimate plan for our family. I think on like our second date I planted the “oh hey I hope you’re cool with adoption if this works out” seed. Thankfully, Bryan was super on board. On top of wanting to adopt in the first place, I’ve always had a heart for a certain type: taking in older kids and sibling groups. The ones who usually struggle the most. the ones who are hardest to get adopted and will likely age out of the foster care system with no forever family.

This is something Bryan was also on board with. However, I always prayed that Bryan would not just “be on board,” but that this would be his thing too. I mean, there is that whole “spiritual leader of our household” factor. I knew that this was the case when I came home from work one day (pre-pregnancy) and he had submitted our general inquiry and filled out some basic paperwork to get us started. Out of the blue. Yeah, God seems to have known what he was doing with us.

We did a lot of praying, talking, and driving other adopted families nuts with questions about birth order effect, what our timing should look like, and if we should adopt after or before our first biological child. Our answer was a lot of silence.

This is pretty common with me actually. God usually doesn’t speak to me in sweet whispers and precious moments like He does with some of my peers. I never “feel led” necessarily. What I do feel is an indescribable urgency and conviction to run full speed ahead at a goal or mission until God slams that door closed and (usually much later than I’d like) gives me a peace about standing still for a minute. Bryan loves this about me. You can ask him and he’ll tell you how adorable it is when my anal-retentive, logical mind turns into irrational mush when I “feel led.”

So in this silence, we “decided” (<–lol) to just wait it out until we felt like we weren’t supposed to wait anymore.

Flash-forward to pregnancy, where we were still just, you know, waiting and stuff, when I felt that familiar conviction and urgency.

I was scrolling through Facebook at work one day, and a photo listing for Project Zero rolled through my feed. If you’re not familiar with this awesome non-profit, then please click that link. They serve to bring awareness of waiting children, usually OLDER KIDS AND SIBLING GROUPS, to families in Arkansas. This was nothing new, I saw their stuff all the time. The smiling, heartbreaking faces of kids who desired deeply to be loved forever always move me. Always. But I always say to myself that we are waiting. Until this day, when a photo of two brothers popped up. They were different. They were important to me somehow. I took a screenshot of them and “jokingly” (<–not really) sent it to Bryan with the text “I want them.”

Bryan, the one of us who is rational in these situations and NEVER takes off running without carefully considering where he is going, replies “Let’s do it.”

Our next steps involved a whirlwind of emails and calls to Christie (the co-founder of Project Zero), the boys’ adoption specialist, DHS, and the directors of The CALL in NWA.

See? Full-speed.

Our next few months involved an initial home visit with our DCFS caseworker (Who we LOVE!), lots more emails and phone calls, filling out every form in the history of the world, becoming CPR certified, and most recently, the completion of 30 hours of training. Hence the photo and caption above. (Just to put things in perspective, this is about 85% of the process. We only have 2 steps left to complete.)

CPR Certification never looked so fun.

CPR Certification never looked so fun.

It also involved us learning a powerful lesson: Not everyone will be supportive of us and what we’re doing.

My first reaction to the comments that we received from our shocked friends and acquaintances was anger.

Why do they care anyway? This isn’t their family.

How could she say that to someone she doesn’t even know very well?

 What gives him the right to have an opinion about what we do?

Do they really believe that we are so naive to think that this will be a cake-walk?

I realized that this came from a place of hurt. As a person who too-deeply merits validation from others, I needed positive reinforcement that we were doing the right thing. It was hard not to get indignant and want to point all of them to the multitude of Bible verses commanding us as Christians to care for the least of these. How could they not see the need, and much worse, discourage us from looking at it too?

We stopped talking about it. We didn’t tell people unless they asked, and we certainly didn’t broadcast it on any social media.

I was tired of crossing names off the list of people we could depend on when the going was sure to get tough.

The best part of training to me was that no one seemed to think we were crazy. No one batted an eye to the fact that I am 7+ months pregnant and working toward opening our home for concurrent-planning foster care. As we introduced ourselves, we made a joke about how we were apparently crazy to be doing this, and to our delight, no one seemed to get the joke.

It validated us that we were following God’s lead here. The amount of encouragement and strengthening we received in those 30 hours is priceless. And having a ridiculously sore butt after 30 hours of sitting is worth it.

We might not get those boys I saw, and I’m finally ok with that. But for whatever reason, God used them to strike that ever-familiar fire under my feet and get me, and Bryan, running. I hope we can provide a forever home for them. We already love them so much. Whatever the case, I pray continually that God will give me a peace about whatever direction His opening and closing of doors leads us.