Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No new news......

I SOOO wish I had some exciting news to share with all of my blog readers, but sadly I don't :(  As most of you know, the US Embassy requested some additional information/documents for our case on August 15.  Days and weeks have gone by, and our agency is still working on gathering the requested documents for re-submission (*sigh*).   We are currently waiting on one document to make it's way from the region where Zoe's birthfamily is from (far away from the capital city) to our agency so we can be re-submitted.  Once the documents are re-submitted, the US Embassy may request additional documents or take their sweet time processing our case.  Or we may be so lucky to be approved quickly after they receive the documents- OH HOW I PRAY THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS!  Only a few families with are agency are at the same stage as us, and 3 of us are hoping and praying  we are approved close together and we get to travel together this next trip. 

With each passing day my heart aches more for my sweet girl.  Several families from our agency that were either right on track with us (timewise) or after us are already home with their children enjoying their new additions.  And as happy as I am for each of them, my heart aches for my baby even more and I long for her to be HERE with us instead of THERE in that orphanage.  She is now 10 months old and it's been 2 1/2 months since we've met her and fallen completely head over heels in love.  We've only gotten 1 picture of her since we left.  The waiting has been so EXCRUCIATING- much harder than I ever imagined.   But... as hard as it is... and as much as I am kind of an EMOTIONAL mess and always on the verge of tears these days... we will trust.  And I will do my very best to choose joy each day and trust that Zoe will be home in his PERFECT timing. And oh how I pray that is soon :)  

Thank you to each one of you who have supported us in so many ways along this journey.  The phone calls, emails, prayers, texts, financial support, emotional support....I could go on and on.  It has been such a blessing to be so loved and cared for during this journey and we feel so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family...  Please continue to pray our Zoe can come home soon to meet each and every one of you who have prayed for her and loved her from afar for so long!

Friday, August 26, 2011

And just like that- HE'S FOUR!

We celebrated Evan's 4th birthday yesterday!  We had a great day celebrating this sweet boy's 4 years...Drew and I feel soo incredibly lucky to have the privilege of being this amazing little guy's parents.  He truly is a joy.  He woke up SO EXCITED knowing that FINALLY it was his birthday :)  He walked out to the family room to find it all decorated and got to open one of his gifts before Drew left for work....
waiting oh so patiently to rip into the paper....
and he LOVES it!  No surprise there- this guys LOVES tractors :)
What a sweet little smile :)
Our family- missing one special little baby girl.  Oh how we wish you could have celebrated with us Zoe!
Just blew out the candles- ready to dive into that tractor cake!

I will save the adoption updates (or lack of updates) for another post...I want this post to be happy despite the fact that we are continuing to experience more delays with the US Embassy.  PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING ZOE IS HOME SOON!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

some thoughts from an emotional mommy...

In between doing lots of thinking and praying the past few days, we have been very busy.  Evan's cousin Hailey has been visiting from Chicago for the past couple of days and we enjoyed spending some time with her.  I took Evan and Hailey to the zoo yesterday and they had a blast.  Evan loves his Hailey so much and it's so fun watching them interact. Here are just a couple glimpes of the two of them together.
In the middle of trying to choose joy each and every minue of the day, I yo-yo back and forth from contentment in knowing God is in control of bringing Zoe home in His perfect timing and sadness over all I am missing while wishing I had control over when my baby girl can come home.  And even in the moments when I am trusting in God's timing, I still am very emotionally fragile.  It truly is amazing to me how emotional this process has been (both the highs and the lows).  I was NEVER this emotional when I was pregnant with Evan- and I even had the hormones to blame it on then!  But I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has been teaching me and stretching me in more ways than I can count throughout this process.  It's been a good thing for a "control-freak" like myself to learn and deal with the fact that I CAN'T be in control AT ALL throughout this process.  I HAVE TO GIVE IT TO HIM.  And I'm choosing to be thankful that He's watching over and taking care of our baby even when we can't. 
 I sewed this shirt for Zoe last week and now I'm starting to wonder if it will even fit her when she comes home....  She looked so chubby in the picture we received Monday, and as happy as I am about her looking so healthy I wonder if a lot of the clothes I have ready for her will even be the right size.  But AGAIN I am reminded, GOD IS IN CONTROL. 

One of my favorite things about adoption is that there is such a close support group of friends you meet along the way.  We've met many of these people in person and I've also "met" many throughout the wonderful world of blogs, yahoo groups, Facebook and email.  One of my closest "adoption friends" and I were chatting this week and I was just overwhelmed with a sense of thankfulness that God has brought us together.  Although we've never met in person (hopefully soon Jana!) I feel like we've known each other for a long time!  It's amazing how much we can encourage each other and the comfort we each feel in knowing that there is someone who really gets what we're feeling.  I pointed her to a blog post that I came across this week.  It's been a HUGE source of encouragement to each of us and we have been reminding each other of this post throughout this week as we each have our tough moments. 

Yes, I want to be the one kissing and snuggling my sweet baby.  I want to be the one feeding my baby her bottles.  I want to be the one changing my baby's diaper. I want to be the one making sure that she stays healthy and safe.  I want to be the one watching her sleep peacefully.  I want to be the one she wakes up in the middle of the night (yes I know this feeling may change once she's home!).  I want to be the one soothing her as she sees doctors and gets poked and prodded.  I want to be the one watching and cheering her on as she does everything for the first time.   I want to be the one rocking her to sleep each night.  I want so badly to be doing these things for my baby now just as I have wanted to for the last 9 1/2 months.  But as hard as it is, I know that GOD DIDN'T CHOOSE ME FOR THOSE MOMENTS, HE CHOSE ME FOR THESE.   I entered motherhood to Zoe through a different door- with a different kind of stretch marks.  God knows that with each tear I cry over missing my sweet baby, I both grow closer to Him and to my sweet girl.  He knows that all too soon I will know what it's like to have her in my arms forever.  And only He knows when we will get to bring her home and introduce her to our amazing family and friends :)  And there is literally NOTHING a type-A, list-making, "Martha trying to be Mary" person like me can do but WAIT ON HIM and know He's got this one.  And I believe He is holding my sweet baby girl both now and for all the minutes, hours, days and weeks when I couldn't be. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Choosing Joy

I'm not gonna lie- today has been a rough day.  We were really hopeful that the US Embassy wouldn't request additional documents and we could be traveling in the next couple of weeks, but we woke up this morning to an email from the US Embassy requesting additional information (4 separate things).  Although we were really bummed and disappointed, I keep trying to remind myself that we have much to be thankful for.  We have such amazing family and friends who have been soo supportive throughout this process in so many different ways.  We have an amazing little 3 year old boy who brings such joy and happiness to our lives each and every day.  We have the sweetest baby girl waiting for us on the other side of the world.  We can sleep at night knowing that the transition home staff is taking good care of our baby and seeing that her tummy is full, she is content, she is safe, and she is being loved on.  We are thankful that God led us to West Sands Adoptions in January- and that we have such faith and trust in the staff knowing that they are working their absolute hardest to help us bring Zoe home as soon as possible.  And...we also received this updated picture this morning from a friend who is in Ethiopia spending some time with our baby.  As she says- "Zoe is looking out the window knowing that we are out there somewhere." 
Definitely helped soften the blow of the email from the Embassy, but oh my goodness she looks so grown-up in this picture.  Rather than being sad that we are missing out on so much with our sweet baby, I'm TRYING OH SO HARD to focus on the positives and know that GOD IS IN CONTROL.   As we were worshipping in church on Sunday, I was struck so hard by these words "Oh Christ, be the center of our lives...  Be the place we fix our eyes, be the center of our lives...And we lift our eyes to heaven.  And we wrap our lives around your life."  And I have been singing this song in my head ever since.  I know that God is with our baby girl right now and holding her in His arms when I can't.  But that doesn't always stop the tears and the sadness of missing my baby.   So.. in spite of the tears streaming down my face, I am choosing joy and trusting that God is in control and His timing is perfect.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

One Step Closer!

We just got the call this afternoon that we've been waiting for- Our file has been submitted to the US Embassy!  Now we just pray for a super quick turnaround and that they don't ask for additional documents (although this seems to be the trend now..).  As soon as we get the email that we've been approved, then we can plan our travel dates and schedule our interview with them.  Hooray!!  Oh how I hope this means we will be traveling yet this month...  I miss my sweet baby girl more than words can describe!