Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Big Decisions & Little Changes in our Home

Okay, so first things first. It's hard for me to share this, but maybe it will offer encouragement or hope to someone else in the same boat. I know God is good like that.

For nearly a month, we'd been hoping that we'd found our baby girl. The morning after receiving an email about her, back before Christmas, I was walking C and IK to the bus stop when I got a text telling me that sweet Birthmom had been rushed to the ER due to premature labor (about 4 months early). That felt like some kind of sick joke, considering how we lost the baby back in August. We found out a week or so later that she was doing well, baby was well, and things looks great. Good news!

Another week or so passed and we hadn't heard anything. This is normal, but still, it's frustrating! Well, around this time, I'd also begun to consider another international adoption, or rather, that if God was leading us in that direction, then I would let go of my fear and follow His lead.

On Monday afternoon, I did another online search, only this time I got sucked in. I found a few agencies I like and began reading about the various country requirements, and my heart just started crumbling. Changes in laws have made it SO difficult to adopt, and not only is it a financial hurdle but now it takes more than 2-4 years on average to complete the process, including a 6-8 week or longer stay in country. I felt so hopeless and heartbroken- it doesn't seem fair! Why are people trying to make it so hard to give children a home? A family of their own?

In the midst of this moment of turmoil, I checked my email and there it was. THE email.

Birthmom chose another family earlier that afternoon.

We were told that she was holding our profile in her other hand, and had a really hard time deciding, and that we should feel better knowing that. Maybe.

Maybe not.

I hadn't "lost" it over a rejection in a while, but that night after reading the email, I couldn't hold it back. I feel like my children have seen me cry so much in the past, well, decade, so I tried to hide in the shower. I'm not sure it disguised anything. That was a painful and difficult night. And cue the tears once again. Oh this life is hard!

God is good, all the time! I really do believe that! In fact, that's what I'm clinging to for dear life. It's hard to trust Him- especially His timing right now- but I'm trying. It's a continual relearning to let go of my expectations, and to be grateful for what I have.

So that's what been happening on the adoption front. Tuesday morning was kind of blur, but in an okay way. It was pouring buckets all day long, and wouldn't you know, we had our family portrait sessions scheduled that night. Talk about a near panic attack! My hair, people. That's what I was terrified about. I mean, my hair hardly ever cooperates in general, but with RAIN...oh no oh no oh no... And then there is the pressure of coordinating outfits, everyone else's hair, those goofy grins you're hoping don't show up...

As if it knew it would be the end of me, my hair not only behaved, it was a model student! I couldn't believe it! And that is proof that miracles do happen.  =) Our pictures turned out even better than I'd hoped, and once I started breathing again because of the major sticker shock for the package prices, it was all good. (Our church is updating its directory, so they brought in the professionals, and families could choose to buy packages or not...but honestly, how on earth do you resist when everyone is smiling, looking cute/handsome, and you just look like one big happy family? Exactly.)

I was so happy, in fact, that I declared it Ice Cream Sundaes for Supper night. Tuna subs for dessert. Yum! Then...

Isabelle announces that her tooth is weally, weally, wiggly and the stinker yanks that other top tooth out! I had a hard enough time with the first top tooth, how can I even stand to lose this one? I cried. I tried to pretend it was happy-crying, or at least fake-crying, but I don't think she bought it. She kept rubbing my back and telling me that she's still my baby girl. Insert ugly cry here.

And I am proud to announce that there were no redemptive Tooth Fairy visits (after the fact) for this tooth! We are seriously the worst T.F. parents out there! No, really. The Worst. I will add here, however, that the parents who are forking over twenty bucks for a tooth are really making it difficult for the rest of us who think that forking over twenty bucks for a tooth is insane. Isabelle may have had a snarky comment or two regarding her measly two dollars. Girl should be happy there's something there at all, but I don't think I'll get into that with her. HA

Since I shared some adoption news, I'll share some family news. Ethan has taken a turn for the worse. The medical bills are pouring in. Caleb's broken leg is having more issues, and surgery may be back on the table. Medical bills from that whole fiasco keep pouring in. There is tension and bitterness in our home, even despair. Unkind words and behavior. I worry about the condition of my children's hearts. Of mine.

All of this has led to some serious conversations, lots of prayer, and a rethinking of sorts about what we want as a family. I'm not able to say exactly right now, but we're making big decisions and there will be even bigger changes in our immediate future. The strange-wonderful thing? I have such a peace about it all! That is a total God-is-in-control comfort, and I'm so thankful for that because I think I would just give up otherwise!

Just to make this post even loooooonger, I've been meaning to show a picture of our old TV armoire that we'd shoved in the basement when we moved here (it didn't fit anywhere, or so I thought!) that now sits happily where the tall bookshelves had been. It houses TONS of sewing storage so I'm able to keep things looking neat and clutter-free. And it was completely free! Happy happy happy! I moved the book shelves to the adjacent corner and they add just the right amount of weight to the family room. Now I have to add a couple more pictures to center the gallery wall above the couch, but that's pretty minor!

I will have those new million dollar portraits to show off.  ;)

If you've made it this far, well, thank you for reading my rambling! Here are some pictures:

Obviously this was taken at Christmas- the book shelves have been in that spot since we first moved in. I liked it, but there's nothing like needing to find a spot for a piece of furniture that kicks you in gear to move things around a bit.

I've missed that armoire! We stained it ourselves years ago and it was the most hideous orange you ever laid eyes on. Then we (I) tried to paint it, which was a complete disaster- just bad color choices. So then we stripped and or sanded it down to the original orange but this time rubbed in dark walnut stain, and I've loved it ever since.

I'm still playing around with different pillow cover options. Apparently Ryder has an opinion too.  If you squint, you can see the area to the left of my sewing table is a little different too. I've had so many sewing projects lately that it's never completely picked up, so...that's why there aren't more pictures to show you. Soon, I promise!

Ha Ha, this photo captures the moment well! She made herself a little nervous at one point in the extraction process.  =)

And I just had to share this one- she has such a tender mother's heart, making sure they're covered and warm. I didn't know she'd put them like this until after she'd left this morning. 

Okay, now I'd better scoot! Lots of sewing to do, but first, I've got to get my Beef Stew in the slow-cooker. Have a wonderful day!


Sennie said...

A big hug to (((you))), Bethany!

I wish I had some words of wisdom, I don't, but praying for love and grace, and hoping this phase is over soon<3

Love your new blog name!

Ryan V. said...

I'm not sure what to say or how to help but I'll definitely keep you and your family on my prayer list!!

Lindsay(PACountryCrafts) said...

(((((HUGS))))) I will keep your family in my prayers!

Also, we lost a tooth last week- my 5yo lost her first and our 8yo has not lost any yet. Oh, but she is wiggling even harder now. :) The funniest was when our son lost a tooth and instead left a ransom note for the tooth fairy demanding $100 for his tooth. In the end he got 2 cents. And the next time he literally LOST his tooth when he came outside to show us. Served him right! Haha!

Lindsay(PACountryCrafts) said...
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