Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I have added a new blog.  This one was started long before I knew we would adopt more than once, so I added a new blog with a more generic name.  I will still use this one and reference it from time to time but www.heartsforeverchanged.blogspot.com is where I will post most often.  :) So please follow the new one!!!

Love... Kathy

Monday, January 14, 2013

Every pregnancy...adoption... is different.

Ok so what I am finding out is that just like pregnancies adoptions are different every time. The first and most obvious difference is financial.  It is alot more difficult this time around, just like pregnancies the more kids you have the less money to go around lol.  Ariana is a huge blessing so don't even think we see her as a burden, but she has had two surgeries and weekly audiologist/speech therapist visits.  You can imagine how that even with good insurance the cost can add up quickly.  We have had to take this very slow and we are planning some wonderful fund raisers for this year.  Please pray God gives us wisdom and blessings with each event.  Let me also say, I am choosing once again to trust God for each need.  Sometimes in the trenches I cannot see things clearly and I get stressed, but God has been faithful. He met every single need as we worked to bring Ariana home and I know He will do the same.

The second difference is we don't have a specific child to work toward yet.  Well we do, but we don't know who they are, only God does at this point.  It is the first question people ask about our adoption, and the thing that helps people connect.  We aren't sure of what needs this child will have, and for my "planner mind" this makes me crazy with questions.  We did review the files on two beautiful twin girls, I had a million questions but for now they are on hold for another family.  There is no official match but it could lead to one.  We are on the list to call if they become available.  So we wait and dream about our childs sweet face. 

Thirdly we are having to use a new homestudy agency and social worker (due to China reqs changing since the last adoption).  We were asked to sign a contract that had a clause in it saying by signing it we agreed to sign a TEA and pay travel for the social worker to and from our house, the problem? We had not seen this agreement nor was there a cap on charges, nor where they specifically laid out so we would know what we would pay.  So basically she could have taken a luxury jet or helicopter or hired a limo driver to come here and we would have to pay whatever that cost.  Ummmm no..... we are now waiting to see an estimated cost and a plan of travel.  She only has to come to our home once (thank you God) the other times we will travel to her on our weekly Dallas/ therapy trips. So this delay is taking far to long for me.  Our homestudy will be faster this time and a few forms from the last one can be used again.  She will also coordinate with our previous Social worker (who we love).  I just don't wait well when one of my children is involved.

All that said, I am so unbelievably excited for my friends Jason and Merissa Yusko.  They are in Camiguin, Philippines right now getting to know their sweet little boy, and by tomorrow night they will be in Manilla getting his visa and passport to come home.  I cannot wait to hear their stories!!!  We have always loved this couple (maybe cuz they are crazy like us) but this adoption journey really brings about a kindred spirit.  Not to mention they are adopting a little boy who is also deaf, and as everyone knows my oldest and youngest are deaf... Keep them in your prayers as sweet James leaves his foster family who has loved and raised him so far in his short life.  Pray for safe and comfortable travel as it is a long journey.  Talking to them and using facetime has been wonderful, but it also stirred alot of impatience on my part :) I want to go now to our child, I want to do this a thousand times over.  I want to fill my home and then buy a bigger one, and fill it too.  Crazy I know but the need is so huge, there are so many. 

God help me to do this one moment at a time,  help me share my heart a million times, to connect with the right people, thank you for letting me plant and water as you inspire other families to begin this journey.  I read a few days ago of a couple of grandparents... yes GRANDPARENTS who are starting an adoption journey.  It is NEVER too late, God can do anything through anyone who is willing. 

God thank you for letting me see these beautiful stories and meeting wonderful people who are on the brink of taking their leap of faith, and for surrounding me with others who's hearts have been so stirred for the orphan that they are pouring their lives into helping others bring them home.  There is hope for the orphan... their hope lives in us... so be His hands and feet today... Stop waiting for the flash of lighting with your name written in it, you are called, simply because you are His.

Love you guys...
Kathy

Monday, November 26, 2012

An all too honest update...

It has been a while and so far very little progress has been made on our second adoption.  We do have a fundraiser David is heading up this Saturday, maybe, I have been trying to let him alone to run this but he doesnt do things the wayng I would and it is killing me lol.  I keep asking if this or that has been done but the answer is always no or oh ya I should do that! Ahhhhhhh :) 

Anyway, we are getting a slower start than the last time and that stresses me out... because to me it is already my child waiting for me and I hate that I cant make things go faster.  I know it will happen and I know God has a plan, and timing and all of that.  I think struggles in my life are making it harder to be positive and encouraged.  I had to apologize to a sweet friend for being more negative than positive in reaction to a problem that came up in her life.  I should have been a reminder of what I know God is doing and assured her that God had it all under control but right now my heart is just sad.  We have a situation in our family that has broken my heart in ways I never thought possible.  I have been sad and angry and hurt.  It (and other things) has made me questioning everything I have ever been taught.  I am working hard to find my way to the truth of who God is, not who man has said He is.. Not what religion says... religion has brought guilt and condemnation and shame far to often.  I want God.. I want to sit in His lap and cry and ask the questions I need answers to, I need to know what GOD says is truth. Not the "why did this happen to us kind" but the "God is this thing that I thought was true, really you" kind. I am struggling, and who I am has been buried under all of this stuff. I have not been the woman of God I want to be lately... or the mother I should be, and that brings its own guilt.  So I need prayer... and friendship, not judgement... I have gotten too much of that already from many people who have no idea who I really am.  For those of you who know me, I love to be around people, in the center of things laughing and getting to know people. I love God with all I am and am super passionate about worshipping Him. I have always been faithful to church and working every chance I get to help do things there. I never thought I would turn into someone who avoids that... for many reasons.  So much has happened since we moved back home and my faith in others has been radically shaken, but that is not the only thing,  I have just begun to shrivel up. Anyway... all of that has slowed us down.  I need to be in a better place before I bring another priceless treasure into our home... I am not stopping just not rushing the process.  I need the time. Yet that to brings guilt... because time in an orphanage or without parents is not what my child needs.

In other news, Ariana's second implant is working very well, better than the first.  We have a test scheduled for Wednesday to see if they can give us anymore info as to why.  If we cannot get it figured out then a 3rd surgery to re-implant the first side will be the only option.  She also got glasses a couple weeks ago, and she is adorable in them.  She loved them at first, now I can say she likes them.  It has been a challenge to get her implants to stay on with the glasses. She had been wearing a headband when she played but with the glasses it is too much pressure on the sides of her head.  So I tried a few things and did alot of research. I came back around to my original idea.  I used those small plastic pony tail holders and looped them around twice and slid it over the arm of her glasses.  Works really well to keep them on but no fun if she has to change clothes (especially when shopping), or if her glasses need cleaning. We have had more behavioral stuff with her the last few weeks but it is probably due to her sensing the stress I feel.  We had a big Thanksgiving at our house and it was nice to have the noise of family and friends to keep me from thinking about other things.  Now there are far to many sweets in my house that need to be gotten rid of. :) 

We are volunteering at a concert with other Show Hope familys in mid December.  I am excited to be a part, to help spread awareness of adoption and to hopefully encourage others to become Show Hope sponsers.  This ministry has helped so many kids make their way home to their forever families. I love adoption and all it means.  I dont think I will ever want to stop bringing kids home, whether it is here or to other homes.  Sigh...

So.......... that is my all to honest blog, and believe it or not I held back soooo much more.  Please say a prayer for my family, and especially for my oldest baby girl.  God knows exactly what is needed.

Thanks for reading... and caring about our little family
Love, Kathy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Shock...

You would think by now I would not be shocked by the cost of international adoption... but in reviewing the new fees we have to pay and the fact that several have gone up or been added that are over a thousand dollars each... I AM SHOCKED.  I am not gonna lie, it makes me mad... mad that people dont seem to care that they are adding more pressure and making it more difficult for families to walk through this process.  I will not let this deter me, I will do what I have been called to do... WITH GODS help... but this process needs an overhaul.  Someone needs to take a look at what adoption agencies are charging and what it really costs.  I have some investigating to do, and then we will make a decision about whether we will stay with this agency or not... and I never thought I would be saying that, because I love the people we have worked with.

God please give us wisdom and direction...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Adoption...

I have been trying so hard to wait a little while to announce the news, but I just cant.... WE ARE ADOPTING AGAIN! I am trying to contain myself as it is far to early to be this anxious.  We are locking down a homestudy agency.  We cannot use our previous one due to China changing some regulations.  So Leah who knows us well and could write our homestudy quickly cant do it. :( We have found an agency we want to use and now need to see if they will sign a cooperative agreement with Childrens home. I want to move so quickly lol. I need to get a grip because I am in for a long trip.... But standing at the begining is so different this time.  We are wiser, we know the process and we know what to expect. Although it is funny what we have already forgotten, in talking to Merissa (my friend adopting from Philippines) I find myself looking up paperwork to remember how and when things happened. 

We knew we wanted to adopt again, but weren't sure when we would start, but thanks to Merissa and a beautiful little girl named Gabrielle we got a kick start.  Gabrielle is already matched with a family, but she now shares in our legacy because she is the face that got us to move.  Please pray for us as we start a new journey, we have so many days to go and so much money to raise, but I walk this journey with a different kind of faith, I know God did this once and I know He will do it again.  We have new friends and connections and we have new ideas. 

To all of you that watched last time, and have said you have thought about adoption, what are you waiting for? Come with us... your little one is waiting, their spirit is crying out... can you hear them? 

I cannot wait to see Ariana with her little sister... she is out there somewhere and we are looking and praying for God to direct us to her... I love that I can now say I have four precious children... sigh... God you are beautiful, thank you for allowing us to bring home another one of your precious gifts...

Kathy

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gotcha Day!

I will never forget the moment I saw you in person for the first time.  As you popped out of the van in your sweet little way and made your way through the crowd to wrap your arms around the leg of the Auntie that made you feel safest. No one had to point you out, I knew your face, I had studied it, prayed over it, I knew your dimples and the curves of your sweet cheeks.  Everything we had done, all the work, all the tears, all the struggle had lead us to this one moment.  I didnt know how it would play out, if I could hold you right away, or if you would fight it, but when I laid eyes on you, instinct took over, and I knew, a thousand soldies could not have kept me from sweeping you up, from wrapping you in my arms and loving you with all I have. Daddy and I love you, more than life itself.  We would walk this journey a thousand times over to get to you.  You are our princess. You are priceless, and you are ours.




This last year has been full of so many things,  we have had ups and downs, struggles, doctors visits and surgeries,we have had a million firsts but mostly we have had love, love that only multiplied over and over when you came to us.  You are our daughter, and it is as if the hand of God created you as a perfect match for us.  You are so much like us all.  You have no idea the lives you have touched, and how many more sweet babies will have homes because someone met you.  You are silly and funny and such a princess... you are stubborn and strong willed and oh so beautiful.  When you smile that full big beautiful dimply smile, the world is a happy beautiful place.  Thank you God for this blessing, for all of my children and how you have so wonderfully woven us all together.  Thank you for cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents.... family... thank you God for this crazy messy beautiful family!