Friday, December 23, 2011

A birthday post

I'm so sorry I haven't written anything sooner. To be honest, it's been a chaotic month... although it seems like every month has its own set of chaotic circumstances for the last two years. There have been health issues, work issues, just issues issues issues. And, that is just the month of December.

For those of you who don't know, my birthday is on Christmas. All of my family (on both my side & Robert's) do a spectacular job of trying to keep it separate from Christmas. When I was growing up I had a half birthday on June 25th. As an adult I've decided to celebrate it on Christmas. My husband, whom I love dearly, decided three years ago to celebrate my birthday in a really unique way. It's called the "5 days of Darbi". On the first day of Darbi which is December 21st, Robert gives me one small gift (this year a funny t-shirt). Second day of Darbi two small gifts (this year it was two cups of coffee... one for me, one for him= one date)... Today is the third day. 
 Day One

Day Two

I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell him how sweet and special his thoughtfulness is. It is one of my favorite parts of my birthday. Robert, you are an amazing man & although our lives are always full with chaos, I'm glad they are chaotic with you. You are my rock & my best friend. You daily live out God's love in your actions (and because it's my birthday I am mushy writing). You are such a blessing.

I did also want to share with you the present V gave us for Christmas. Two stockings. One said Mom & the other said Dad. I had forgotten that she has always referred to us as the Mommy & Daddy. This is so precious. I mean, this is our birthmother calling us mommy & daddy of the child she is carrying. What does that tell you about adoption? She gets it! This is our child. But V doesn't understand how adoption is just a reflection of God's love for us & our adoption into a much bigger family.

Families are created in more ways than one. Please continue to pray for witnessing opportunities. Especially for an opportunity to share God's love for her & how God views adoption. We pray that somehow we will be able to show her this. This is our biggest challenge right now.

I can't help but think of God's love for us in such a different way since we've been on the adoption journey. It has changed us. The Christmas songs are so much sweeter because we are singing about our precious Savior who died so we could be adopted. Words cannot even express what this season is really about for us. It's still the story of us being adopted by our most gracious Heavenly Father. It's always the story of our adoption.

So, on that note...

Merry Christmas!!!

We find out at the middle/end of next month what the sex is of our baby. :) I think they are waiting until 20 weeks.


I am posting my thankfulness list on Facebook. I need to update it here but we are upwards of 100. Let me know if you want to join the group.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A new challenge

The last few weeks have been interesting in our household. Over Thanksgiving both Robert & I were really sick (the fabulous stomach virus). So, we spent Thanksgiving and a few more days sick in bed. Although we did catch up on the latest episodes of Restaurant Impossible & Chopped.

This holiday season has also been a challenging emotionally for me. There is something about the holiday's that makes me miss our kids even more (even the one we were not able to adopt). The grief is a little more profound this time of year.

What's so complicated is that somehow all the sadness is clouding out the excitement of our expectancy. We are in the process of adopting a precious baby. There is a part of me that is so afraid of another failed adoption, yet every time we are with the birthgiver & family God continues to give numerous confirmations that they are determined to place this child with us. The family has experienced adoption before & they understand very clearly what is going on here. This is very real to them.

There is a part of me that thinks most people are expecting this adoption to fail. I feel like I'm constantly having to assure others that this is the right choice. A part of me is so hesitant to have a baby shower because I think people are thinking "Oh, that's dumb... She should wait until she knows for sure she has the baby". But this is no different then if I were pregnant. There are no guarantees, but rather we go forward in faith whether in pregnancy or in adoption. I care too much about what others might be thinking & am allowing that to be my truth instead of what God thinks.

So, this is the battle... To think on what is True, to live in the Known. What we know is that God has without a doubt called us to pursue adoption. We know that adoption is precious to God's heart. Did you know that Jesus was adopted? Joseph was Jesus' earthly father. There were no biological ties between them. Yet, Joseph was given this awesome responsibility of raising this child. Fast forward 33 years, Jesus died so that we could be adopted into His family. Those who confess that Jesus alone is Lord, that He alone is where our salvation lies become co-heirs with him. We become part of His family. The truth is, God has called us to adoption because He has adopted us. If we spent the rest of our lives trying to live out His picture of how He has adopted us then that is worth all of this heartache and pain.   

In order to combat all these crazy thoughts, I need your help. Hebrews 13:15 states "Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name". God desires our heartfelt worship by offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Perhaps the sacrifice is in the fact that we by nature are complainers. I am by nature a complainer.

Ann Voskamp wrote a book called "One Thousand Gifts". My friend Melanie & I read it together last year. With the exception of certain chapters (skip 6 and 11) and some of her crazy weird writing, the principles of the book are really good. She basically says that we need to write down little ways that we are thankful to God. If we are daily looking for these things (for example, a cup of coffee) we are actively looking for ways God is at work. We are preparing our hearts for thankfulness in the big things. Believe you me, God is at work in a cup of coffee (it's such an enjoyable beverage!). The Israelites built monuments to remind them of God's work. This is a modern way of doing the same thing.

1) My goal: to write 1,000 ways I'm thankful.
2) Your challenge: keep me accountable to write 7 a day until I reach 1,000. If I don't post call me out publicly on it (nicely please). :)
3) Do this with me. My prayer is that at least one of you will take me up on this challenge.

Hopefully by today we will have a separate tab for the list.

As always, thank you for listening and for your prayers.