I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands. --Corrie ten Boom

How Much Longer?

I Knew I Loved You...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Yep. We booked an impromptu last minute trip for the upcoming week. We are very excited! We are going to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for six days to a beautiful all inclusive, adults only resort right on the beach! We can't wait. More details later. Just wanted to share my good news!

Is she serious?

Really now! C'mon. Why would anyone even say something like this?!?!? If she is so concerned about "bad karma" coming back to you from your actions, well...in my opinion, she should be really concerned about herself after saying something like this! I don't want to judge her or anyone else. I get that she is upset about the treatment of the Tibetans, but really, was this comment necessary? Especially, since the vast majority of the people suffering are certainly not the ones making the decisions on a government level. UGH. She basically said that they deserved what has happened to them due to the actions of their government. What a terrible thing to say.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's Pouring Here

Literally & figuratively pouring. It has been raining all day...from the sky, but from my heart too, the emotions are gushing like the rain is falling & coming with those emotions are occassional rain drops from my eyes...okay, at times they have been more than drops. I am just having a bad day. I miss our "Emma". I knew that I would have bad days & I guess this is just one of them. I just hurt. That is the only way or word that I know to explain it. It is a painful ache that won't go away. It was a month this past Thursday that Thomas placed her back in her birthmother's arms. My heart is sick with grief; a grief that never gives me a vacation. It is always here with me. It is a new unwelcomed addition to my being & it is hard on my soul.

Our adoption agency emailed us letting us know that Ethiopia has a really good program going right now. It is a rough estimate, but within a year we most likely if not before could be home with a baby & possibly a sibling set. It would take some time to get the dossier done, but since we have done that before it wouldn't likely be too bad. I don't know...sometimes I think we should just wait. I think about doing In Vitro, I think about getting in line for another country while we wait for our China referral, I think about waiting to see what happens with a possible situation with someone who has offered to possibly have a baby for us (time will tell as they are dealing with some personal things that must be resolved first)...but all the while in the back of my mind I just keep thinking of ways that we could possibly get Emma back. I fear every day that I will never be able to let that go & every day she slips away from us a little more.

I know that is hasn't been that long ago. A month, right? My emotions are still so new & I am still processing what has happened. I just can't imagine that time will ever take this pain away.

Maybe it is me. Maybe I don't want to move on. I know that I don't have a choice though, so I might as well get over it or at least learn how to deal with my reality & go from there.

Plan for tomorrow...spend the day with Thomas doing something fun. That will put a smile on my face & in my heart too. It always does! He understands that behind my smile is a sadness right now that won't go away, as he carries that same sadness deep within him . I hold no expectation for myself to "be better" tomorrow, however, I do hope that the day will be better & that for now will have to be enough.

Earthquake Pandas Get A New Home


Panda Has Sneezing Fit


This is so funny!

Buckle Up!

For all of you that will sooner or later be traveling & enduring that long flight home with your wiggling little one or for any friends or family flying anywhere with kids in tow I wanted to share this great information. Check this new invention out at http://www.kidsflysafe.com/ Great idea, huh? Sure beats lugging a car seat through the airport!

"One Child At A Time"

Ya Xing Kai is living in an orphanage in China. She has Spina Bifida & needs a life saving surgery. Check out this auction site dedicated to providing the funding for her surgery. This is one way that we can all get involved & literally help one child at a time!


What a great idea! HAPPY BIDDING!

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Yesterday", Leona Lewis

Love this song! Click on the song title "Yesterday" above in my music box to take a listen. You can read along with the lyrics here below.

I just can't believe you're gone, still waiting for morning to come, wanna see if the sun will rise, even without you by my side. When we had so much in store, tell me what is it i'm reaching for. When we're through building memories, i'll hold yesterday in my heart, in my heart.

They can take tomorrow and the plans we made, they can take the music that we'll never play. All the broken dreams, take everything, just take it away, but they can never have yesterday. They can take the future that we'll never know, they can take the places that we said we would go. All the broken dreams, take everything, just take it away, but they can never have yesterday.

You always used to say, i should be thankful for everyday. Heaven knows what the future holds, or at least how the story goes. (but i never believed them 'til now.)

I know i'll see you again i'm sure. No it's not selfish to ask for more. One more night, one more day, one more smile on your face, but they can't take yesterday.


They can take tomorrow and the plans we made, they can take the music that we'll never play. All the broken dreams, take everything, just take it away, but they can never have yesterday. They can take the future that we'll never know, they can take the places that we said we would go. All the broken dreams, take everything, just take it away, but they can never have yesterday. I thought our days would last forever. (but it wasn't our destiny) 'Cause in my mind, we had so much time. But i was so wrong. Now i can, believe that, i can still find the strength in the moments we made. I'm looking back on yesterday.


They can take tomorrow and the plans we made, they can take the music that we'll never play. All the broken dreams, take everything, just take it away, but they can never have yesterday. They can take the future that we'll never know, they can take the places that we said we would go. All the broken dreams, take everything, just take it away, but they can never have yesterday. Ooooh... (All the broken dreams take everything) But they can never have yesterday.


Please take the time to click on the below link. Steven Curtis Chapman & his family have lost their youngest daughter in a terrible accident.


Get To Know Me Better...

For those of you who are not bloggers, you probably don't "get" this, but it helps us all get to know one another.

Favorite person (outside of family): This is a tough one. There are so many people that I cherish & given unlimited time in my life I would love to spend so much more time with each of them just enjoying them & their company.

Favorite food? The answer to this is usually different depending on if I have had something fabulous lately that was new to me. Overall, I really enjoy Mexican & Chinese food in general. Usually I am not a big ice cream fan, but there is this place called "ColdStone Creamery", they have them all over now. http://www.coldstonecreamery.com/ The treats that they have there...oh my goodness! The best! Also, recently Thomas treated me to a visit to the Godiva store while we were in Iowa. I chose this "kabob" that had strawberries, banannas & kiwi on a skewer all dipped & covered in Godiva chocolate. YUM! (These items are all ofcourse for when I am not low carbing, which is not very often. Getting & keeping my weight where I need it to be is one of my biggest struggles! However, these are the things that I would choose to treat myself with now & then for a special occassion.)

Quirks about you? I am an "organizer", love to have things in their place. I use to be a cleaning fanatic as well. I still like things clean, but I am not obsessive about it anymore. Thankfully, I have realized life is too short & that I have better things to do. However, if my "to do list" gets out of control, I tend to begin to panic a little as it tends to make me think that my life is getting the same way too. Another one; I love me a little (okay, a lot) of reality television. Really embarassed to admit that one, but I do. Some of it is right down "smutty" at times, but sometimes I just find myself sucked in. Ten minutes later I am staring at the television watching in disbelief & wondering, "What the heck am I watching here?!?!?" Ugh.

How would the person who loves you the most describe you in ten words or less? Wouldn't this be a question for him or her? I honestly couldn't tell you who loves me more...my husband or my Mother. They both love me unconditionally in a way that no words can describe. I would think they would say..."opinionated (never means to offend, but always means what she says), faithful, organized, good head on her shoulders, (my Mom always says that about me), strong values, honest (too much so at times), willing, philisophical, authentic, grateful"...Okay, I am sure that is at least ten.

Any regrets in life? Regrets? No...things that have happened that I wished wouldn't have, choices I have made that looking back I might have made differently, things I haven't done that maybe I wished I would have...sure. However, as far as regretting any of it, I don't have time for that. Everything that has happened has no doubt shaped me, molded me & made me; the good & bad, who I am today. So, nope. No regrets.

Favorite charity or cause? WorldVision http://www.worldvision.org/donate.nsf/child/giftcatalog_christmas07?Open&campaign=124608133&cmp=BAC-124608133

Favorite blog recently? The Smith's, "Bring The Rain" http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/

Something that you cannot get enough of? Time

Worst job you ever had? Hmmm? Never gave that much thought really. Every job comes with its good & bad I suppose. Really haven't had one that was bad enough to say it was the worst. I work to live, never have & never will live to work. A job for me has not ever & will not ever define me. It is all about earning money that is necessary for our family to do the things in life that are important for & to us. I am SO thankful however that Thomas has a career that he enjoys & is so dedicated to though. Even so, he certainly keeps a great perspective & knows his personal priorities as well as our priorities as a family. He is able through his career to provide a very comfortable living for our family & for that I am so thankful to not only him, but to his company as well! He has provided me with the gift of working part time & what a blessing that is for our family!

What job would you pay NOT to have? The President of the U.S.

If you could be a fly on the wall, where? Funny. I just said this very thing to Thomas yesterday, therefore, this answer comes to me very quickly. I would love to be a fly on the wall in the home of the birthmother in which we recently placed our sweet "Emma" back too. The birthmother has two additional very young children & things were not good. I ache to know that "Emma" is okay & long to know what is happening in her world. I realize that this may only make my pain worse, to know her reality, but I am all about being honest here, so that is my answer.

Favorite Bible verse right now? "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Guilty pleasure? "Grey's Anatomy"

Got any confessions? Well, I try to live as my authentic self always at all cost. Lately, there have been times when I am not feeling very happy in my heart. The ache & longing that is within me really never gives me a vacation. At times lately, I have forced a smile or when I have been asked how I am doing by friends & family, I haven't always been very forthcoming. I think that those close to me already know this though & can & do very often see behind my smile anyway though, so a lot of you probably already knew this, so I guess it is not much of a confession really.

If you had to spend $1000 on yourself, how would you spend it? It would go towards traveling. LOVE to travel...anywhere, anytime!

Favorite thing about your house? The family & friends that fill it.

Least favorite thing about your house? The lack of children in it.

One thing you are bad at? Operating electronic stuff...you know, the DVR, my MP3 player & the like...thank goodness for Thomas or I would be in the dark ages! I am a good learner though, so once he teaches me (okay, usually it does take a few lessons!), then I do okay. I am also TERRIBLE at reading maps! I can't find my way out of a cardboard box, really!

One thing you are good at? Organizational Skills, Being honest (really, I think that honesty is a skill-there are so many who are not so great at that these days, right?)

If you could change one thing about your circumstances, what? Refer back to the regrets question. I am trying to learn rather than to constantly want for what I don't have to instead be happy, at peace & grateful for what I do have. This takes effort daily & is often a challenge, but I am trying.

Who would you like to meet someday? Refer to the favorite person question. There are so many people & places too that I know if given the opportunity to meet & spend time with, go to & spend time there; they could; the people & the places, enrich my life in unimaginable ways...

What makes you feel sexy? My husband. Oh, the question was "what", not "who"...well, sorry. I am sticking with my first answer.

Who is your real life hero? Again...too many to mention just one. Living life today in this ol' world is often times so tough & we all get thrown a lot of curve balls. So many people in my life can hit a curve ball out of the park like nothing I have ever seen!

What is the hardest part of your job? Depends on the day.

When are you most relaxed? Depends. However, siting in the backyard with Thomas talking & admiring the garden ranks right up there.

What stresses you out? Running late.

What can you not live without? Faith.

Favorite song, music or band? Or turn us onto to a new artist that you are listening to & enjoying right now. Leona Lewis! WOW! Her songs are incredible & that voice...ubelievable!

Do you agree with the recent article that blogs are authored by narcissists?
What?!?!? No, that is so silly in my opinion.

Why do you blog? Sanity.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Our Garden Is Finally In!

Thomas got started bright & early out in our garden yesterday. He was out there all day. He didn't come in until almost 8PM! The rain finally stayed away long enough to get going on one of his favorite projects of the year. He tilled, weeded, planted & built cages & fencing. It looks great! He planted everything from sunflowers & pumpkins to onions, herbs, jalapenos & cauliflower, plus just about anything else that you can think of! We already have quite the strawberry patch in full bloom. He built a cage around it & we will soon net it as well to keep the birds from picking them clean before we can. Last year the fruits of our labor were awesome. We had quite the garden & a wonderful, bountiful harvest clear through late October. I appreciate his efforts as it is so nice having the fresh vegetables, fruits & herbs throughout the season. Remember last year? I think there are some shots somewhere on a previous blog post from our gardening season before. Anyway, it is looking great already. Pictures of that project to come soon.

I helped him out a little with it yesterday, but not much. I was doing some things inside. I made us a late lunch which we enjoyed picnic style out in the back yard while admiring Thomas's hard work. He has quite the sunburn on his neck & head as a result of his long day.

Oh & about the lunch...I made a new turkey salad recipe. We can't figure out what makes it so great, but honestly, it is the best we have ever had. I will post the recipe soon. It is a great summer treat.

Thank You Secret Pal!

Yesterday I went to the mailbox to find a gift from my fellow July LID group secret buddy. What a nice surprise! Thank you to my pal for the great Baby Einstein Photo Album! It is just perfect. Mia will love it for sure. When the time comes, we will fill it with photos of our family & send it to her to have in China while we are still here in the states waiting to travel to her! It will be such a perfect way for her to see our faces & the faces of all of her new family until we can get to her & bring her home to join all of us!

THANK YOU again!

I Am So Proud Of Myself!

A friend of mine recently helped me bling my blog out a little for spring. She said that she just couldn't stand all of the white anymore! :) As I have said before doing things like "blinging out my blog" & digital scrap booking are both things that I really want to learn to do.

Well, last night I took a stab at trying to get music on my blog & as you can see I did it! I must say I was & am pretty impressed with myself. I am not electronically inclined so it felt like quite an accomplishment. I kept closing out my blog & reopening it to hear the music start up. I was so silly clapping my hands & praising myself. Thomas was laughing at me, but agreed that it was very cool.

I added a few songs that are very special & inspirational for me & I added some that I just heard recently & have been enjoying. I will change the play list from time to time as my mood changes & different things are going on in my life. You can click on any tune to hear a different song on the list. Just use the scroll bar on the right of the music list to move the listing up & down to reveal more tunes too. Impressive, huh? HA! Not really, but I am just very pleased with myself that I figured it out. (Oh & if the music is distracting to you, in the left corner of the music box there is place to click on & stop it from playing. It is the first little box right under the pic of the album cover.) I will very soon be trying to "bling out my blog" in other ways too. Stay tuned...

10 Months & Counting...

Well, ten months have come & gone. It is always bittersweet for me, these milestones I mean. Counting down the months & realizing that you have come so far, but yet have so far to go. I want to look at it positively, so I tell myself that means that we are ten months closer to our Mia than we were before, right?

I remember vividly the day that we received our log in date & it doesn't seem like all that long ago. Approaching the one year mark very soon makes me think that maybe time is going a little faster. I hate to wish our life away, but we are so ready to travel to China & bring her home.

Well, all I can say is, "Ten months down & who the heck knows how many to go!"

While we are on the subject of the number ten, read this; a little bit about the symbolic meaning of the number ten:

The number ten is the start of a whole new order of numbers and the culmination of the numbers that come before it. This may seem to be merely a distinction given to ten under our decimal numbering system. However the numbering systems in use in the time that the Bible was written were also based upon the number ten. A look at the number values assigned to the Hebrew and Greek letters in the table shown in the introduction Hebrew and Greek numerics will show that the letters were given values from one to ten, then increasing in tens to 100 then increasing by 100's and so on. Furthermore numbering by tens is built in to our very anatomy, count up on your fingers and when they are all used, make a mark on a piece of paper and start from your first finger again. Soon you will have a number of marks, each representing 'two hands' worth. Thus in ancient times as in modern times ten is the start of a whole new order of numbers and the culmination of the numbers that come before it.
Thus wherever ten is found this completeness of order is also seen. Ten implies completeness of order, nothing lacking and nothing over. It signifies that the cycle is complete and that everything is in its proper order. Thus ten represents the perfection of divine order.

If you are interested click on the below link to read a little more about the number ten. I mean, who knew? It elaborates on The Ten Commandments, The Tenth Chapter, The Tenth Verse & so on. So interesting.


And now we know...

Friday, May 16, 2008

You're In The Right Place...

A fellow waiting China Mommy worked on blinging out my blog a little for me in honor of spring time. I am not very good at that kind of thing, but hope to get better at it soon. I think I would love to do things like that with my blog as well as digital scrapbooking too. I hope I learn soon. Right now I want to learn how to have music playing when others open up my blog. I am so not electronically inclined. So, thanks Sara for making my blog a little prettier!

Today was so beautiful weather wise here! A friend of mine & I took her two boys, got some lunch & went to a local state park & had a picnic. Then, we let the boys play on the playground there while we visited & enjoyed the wonderful weather & some good company. Then, we went to a garage sale & found some bargains. I found lots of eighteen month old clothes items; most with the tags still on & lots of name brands such as Old Navy, Gap, Gymboree, Children's Place etc. So cute! Plus, I purchased a book that their grandparents had brought them back froma trip they had taken to China! It is a children's book with letters, common words & phrases. It has a photo of the item & then it is written out in English & then translated in Chinese; the woman told me the dialect, but now I can't remember. Irregardless, I was very pleased. I got the whole bag of clothes & the book for $7.50! I love bargains! Tomorrow, another friend of mine who is expecting her first little bundle of joy (CONGRATULATIONS KRISTIN!) & I are going on a garage sale adventure in the morning. We will have lots of chatting, find some great bargains no doubt & maybe enjoy some breakfast. It will be a nice girl's morning out for us!

Thomas & I made a big purchase the other day. We purchased a new riding lawn mower & a weedeater. We are very pleased with them both. For now, it is fun mowing as it is like having a new toy, but I am sure that will wear off sooner than later & we will not be as excited as we are now to mow.

Today "Emma" is one month old. It seems to me that she should be so much older. I can hardly even comprehend that we have only been home for about three weeks. I don't really know why that is...the only thing I can figure is that every day that she is not with me feels like an eternity, like a lifetime. Maybe that is why it seems so, so long ago. I pray that she is getting all that she needs & that she is thriving, happy & healthy. I miss her so much I ache.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The devastation that the people of China are facing right now has never been more clear to me than since reading this article from the NY Times. I really don't even have any words to express my feelings of sadness for all that are in any way involved in this nightmare. I don't know what to think or what to say. Click on the below link & read the article & beyond that I would say just pray.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Does anyone know why like in my previous posting that the first paragraph is so spaced out between lines & then it goes right into more normal line after line without the spacing?!?! I have tried & tried to fix it. I have changed my font & also the text size & nothing works. I am clueless!


Monday, May 12, 2008

The people God brings us to...

I received a package in the mail yesterday. It wasn't from one of my secret pals from one of my groups that I participate in & it wasn't from a familiar friend who lives nearby. It wasn't from anyone in my family & it wasn't from a stranger...it was from a friend, although a different kind of friend than some of you might think of when you hear the word "friend". A woman who I have never met face to face & likely may never meet in person. A woman who lives very far from me, but obviously knows me better than people who I see every day. This woman inspires me in so many ways & I am better for knowing her that is for sure!! She is from a group of other families that I correspond with that are all logged in for China the same month as us.

She has thought about me, prayed for me & offered words of encouragement throughout the entire time I have known her since joining this group. Not only when she speaks directly to me, but just day to day by the insights & advice that she shares. Also, I visit her family blog from time to time. She is an inspiring woman & lives her life in a way that glorifies God & His kingdom! I am proud to call her my friend.
She sent me a gift that I will treasure forever. Even more than the gifts that she sent, her written words touched me in a way that I will never forget. I will never be able to thank her enough, not for the gifts, I can thank her for those. Although, I couldn't have chosen something better or more perfect to help me during this time & in the waiting times ahead if I had went & made the purchase for myself. What I mean is that I will never be able to thank her for her thoughtfulness, her prayers, her heartfelt sincerity or her words that will resinate with me always & forever. I will never be able to thank her for the way that she lives or the way that she inspires others in her daily life!
The one thing I know is that God works in so many ways in our lives that we so often take for granted. I know that this woman came into my life not just by chance, but because God knew there would come a time when I would need her; her prayers, her kindness & her heartfelt sincere words that mean so much to me today & always will! No, I will not ever be able to thank her enough, but the one thing I will do is thank God for her & thank Him for making sure that we crossed paths in our lives here on Earth.
This wait for our daughters from China is long & so often we question this wait that we must all endure. We so often hear from others that as time passes many things often reveal themselves & the reason for the wait becomes more clear. I believe that this woman was meant to come into my life & help me in a way that I couldn't do for myself. I will praise Him for this & that I know will be all the thanks & more that she would ever want, to glorify God for His great works!
Kelly Raundenbush you are amazing!! You inspire me in so many ways! Thank you so much. I opened the gift & the tears came like a flowing river. I attempted to read the card to my husband Thomas & couldn't get through it without stopping several times to catch my breath. I later shared it with my Mother & again I had to stop several times before I could continue on. I want you to know that we get our mail everyday without fail. It is just a habit, we never leave it in the box from one day to the next. On Saturday, we were doing yard work & time got away from us. We realized late on Saturday that we never got our mail from the mail box. We decided to wait until Sunday to grab it. We never do that. My point is, that on Sunday; Mother's Day, I opened my gift from you. It couldn't have been better timing!
I am not sure that I can explain what your words meant to me & what the gifts mean to me now & how much they will mean to me in years to come! I hope you don't mind Kelly, but I want to show photos here of your gift to me & it seems only appropriate that your written words go with the pictures. I know that they were written to me, but I want to share them with all those who will read this.

"Be strong and let your heart take courage, All who hope in the Lord."
Ps. 31:24
Dear Jen,
I wanted to send you this special gift as a reminder of the great hope we have, the great expectation you have that God will make you a Mommy in His perfect timing.
These charms were handmade by an artist in Bejing. I had my parents get them for me. You can wear the mother charm as a reminder of Mia Lynn and how God is preparing you even now to be her Mommy. And, the other charm (the daughter charm), knowing that one day you can place it around her neck with great joy and thanksgiving. Treasure it until then.
May this Sunday, (Mother's Day) be one not of sorrow, but of great expectation of the joy to come.
By Grace,
Kelly Raundenbush

The pouch is what the charms came in. The first one on the left is "mother" & the one to the right is "daughter".
The card will go in Mia's scrapbook along with other various very important writings from those people that mean so much to us for her to enjoy in years to come!
Again Kelly, there are no words...a simple thank you does not seem like near enough. I will very soon be shopping for the perfect silver chain so that I may begin to wear my mother charm. Knowing that it came from China, it is like a lifeline to our Mia. I am so excited to place it around my neck & close to my heart where my daughter is growing already!
If you would like to "meet" Kelly & her beautiful family, here is her family blog address: http://www.raudenbushfamily.blogspot.com/
Please visit her!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Verb VS Adjective...

Just a couple of things... & indulge me here just a bit as I am likely to get on a little bit of a soap box. We all have our topics that we like to discuss & for obvious reasons this is one of mine. I just think if you have personal experience with a topic & you feel you have something relevant to share on the subject that might enlighten others that you should go for it. However, I don't want to be misunderstood that I am preaching here or upset...as I know that everyone most generally means well, but I just chose to take this time & forum to just put some of my thoughts out here on a topic that is so personal to me.

It was recently suggested by a dear friend that we should not give up hope on trying for "your own" baby. I just want to make it very clear that I know that what she meant to say was a biological child. I also want to make it clear that Emma would have been & Mia will certainly be "our own" baby, just not our biological children. I know that everyone knows that & that is what is usually meant when someone says "your own" (biological), but I just wanted to say that adopted is a verb, not an adjective. Adoption is a way to grow a family. It describes the way that a child comes to be in a family, but is not a descriptive word that should ever be used to describe a child. It is kind of like a vaginal delivery or c-section. No one goes around saying "this is my vaginal delivery daughter" anymore than anyone should be saying, "this is my adopted daughter." They are just your children period; your own children, irregardless of how they came to be your son/daughter & you their parents. I just feel better having said this as it is something that is important for all of us to help each other to be mindful of. Sometimes I have heard people speak of families when talking about the children & they will say, "their daughter is adopted". That is an incorrect statement. The correct statement would be "their daughter WAS adopted." Again, the word should be a verb, NOT an adjective. Thomas & I tried to have biological children as you know, but adoption wasn't necessarily our second choice. We never looked at Emma & won't look at Mia as a consolation child or a second choice. We just want to grow our family, whether that be through birthing a biological baby or adopting a son or daughter, it matters not to us. Our only goal is to be parents, to grow our family. Our goal isn't to become pregnant or to adopt & adopting internationally or domestically matters not either. Being 35 we still have some time I suppose to explore our options for a bio pregnancy. However, the odds are no doubt against us. Just as a reminder, I have PCOS, Stage 4 Endo, a hydrosalpinx & use to have Insulin Resistance (corrected after losing 80 pounds), plus I am 35...so, although not impossible, certainly I have some things working against my odds. Thomas has no male factors, so that is a plus. Also, our insurance although good in every other aspect offers ZERO coverage for anything related to Infertility. Yep, ZERO!! So, if we did do InVitro it will be @ $14,000.00 here in Missouri at our physician out of the gate cash money up front. We for a long time thought that adoption was very much more a sure thing than InVitro would be. We contemplated which process to pay for that would in the end get us to our goal of growing our family. We thought that adoption was the clear choice, that we would in the end have our babies sooner & more safely than by doing InVitro. Yep, that is what we thought. We have since come to see that isn't always the case. We know a lot of families who have done InVitro, both successfully & unsuccessfully. Some have done a mixture of fresh & frozen transfers; a total of between 6-10 times & out of those attempts have 1-3 beautiful, precious children. Ofcourse, they would do that again, it worked for them & for that I am so glad, but will it work for us? How many times can we financially afford to try with no insurance coverage & also having gone through two failed domestic placements that were very costly in the last sixteen months, plus having our International Adoption in process as well. All, very costly. Not complaining about the money....we have a very clear understanding that we are paying for the process, NOT THE CHILD! It is just a little more difficult to think about the money spent when in the end we have come home twice without our babies.

So, that is my soap box for the day. If I just enlightened one person, changed the vocabulary of one individual my time here today was well spent!

Have a great day! It is suppose to be 75 degrees here. I am hoping to get out in the garden this afternoon to get it rolling for this season.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

I am still living...

Hi everyone. Yes, It has been almost two months since my last entry. Sorry. Very soon in the midst of this post, those of you who don't know why will very soon understand.

We had another failed domestic placement. WOW, huh? Tell us about it! Let's see...where in the world to begin?

Okay, we heard a couple of months ago about this possibility & in order to respect & protect the birth families privacy I won't divulge a lot of specific details about it. However, I will say that she is nineteen & has two other children, very young children. It again seemed like the sure thing. We had daily contact with her & everything seemed like we were on track. We hired an attorney & did everything by the book.

We had to travel to another state for the birth & would have had to remain there until the process was mostly complete. It ended up being a scheduled induction, so we were there the night prior. There are a lof of things that happened, but the baby was finally after several false starts born healthy. We were not at the hospital & did not take her home from there. However, the birth mother signed the termination of parental rights & placed her in our arms & our care just a day or so later. It was the happiest moment of our lives.

We had four of the most glorious days with her ever! Really, no matter what the outcome has been & the hell we have lived in these last few weeks we would never give those four days back for anything.

In the state where she (yes, the baby was a girl) the BMother had four days/96 hours to change her mind & revoke her signature from the TPR that she had signed. Literally mere hours (less than three hours) before that time was set to expire, my cell phone rang. My heart sank. There was no need to look at the clock & really no need to answer the call as we knew instantly who & what was on the other end. However, I answered the phone & it was our attorney with the words that still haunt me today & always will, "My dear, I don't have very good news for you." I could share with you the rest of what she said as I remember vividly that conversation, but honestly, none of the rest matters.

A short time later, Thomas placed our precious "Emma Kate" back into her Birth Mother's arms & into a life that we had not wished for her.

A day later we traveled back to our home with an empty car seat in the back of our vehicle that only days prior had been filled with the most beautiful, precious soul that we had ever laid eyes on or had the blessing of knowing.

We still love her today. We still feel like her "Daddy & Mommy" & I can tell you that I don't think those feelings will ever go away. We are hanging in there. Some days are worse than others, but we somehow get through them. It it SO hard as we long & literally ache for her every moment of every day. Nothing makes that go away! Nothing. We are moving on & living this new life that is now ours without her, planning trips, going back to work, family outings & even laughing again...but nothing is a diversion. Absolutely nothing. Those feelings; the ache, the emptiness is always there looming in the background. We are not sure that it will ever go away. I think we are & will continue to learn how to cope a little better with each passing day.

Yes, someday we will get to go & get our Mia from China & maybe another child before or after that will join our family one way or the other...however, one child does not & will not replace our "Emma Kate". We loved & nurtured that little precious soul for four glorious days. She eternally impacted our lives. We will never be the same. I don't know if anyone who hasn't lived it can understand what four days can be like when you are literally living out a dream...four days can & did seem like a lifetime for us. It really did.

If you have children you understand, GOD FORBID something would happen to one of them, just because you have the other one wouldn't make your longing or ache for the child that left you to be back in your life go away, you know? It is just difficult when you wanted something for so long & then you get it & it was more than you could have ever dreamed or hoped for & then it is gone again. It is such a loss, not only the loss of our dream of parenthood, but of our sweet "Emma". She was amazing. Now, not only do we ache & long for parenthood & want to be parents, we want to be HER parents.

It has been very difficult not to question why. However, in our hearts we know that is not the right thing to do; questioning God I mean. Over & over I have had to & continue to repeat one of my favorite verses to myself, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 I have always believed that & even though my faith has been shaken & has felt tested I still believe it. I know that God has a plan for our lives. I am only human & God knows that there has been many a day that I have prayed that His plan might come a little more in line with ours or at least that His plan could be revealed to us in someway so that maybe we could understand things & this could all be a little easier. However, we know that we just have to trust in Him & take this to Him...but, it is hard, so, so hard. As we all know it is easy to praise Him & be thankful when things are good, but to be able to do it when things are bad is a different story. We are trying. I would think that must mean that you have reached some kind of spiritual maturity when you can be praising God even through the storms of life. You know what I mean?

There is this song by the band Mercy Me. It is called "Praise You In The Storm". We have always loved it, but now more than ever it has new meaning for us. I have shared the lyrics below:

I was sure by now God You would have reached down And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day, But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining
But as the thunder rolls I barely hear Your whisper through the rain“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I’ll praise You in this storm And I will lift my hands For You are who You are No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand You never left my side
And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm
I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry, You raised me up again, My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on If I can’t find You
As the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain “I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I’ll praise You in this storm And I will lift my hands For You are who You are No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my side And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm
I lift my eyes unto the hills Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord The Maker of Heaven and Earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord The Maker of Heaven and Earth
I’ll praise You in this storm And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my sideAnd though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm, And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

I told my Mom the thing that makes this so difficult is that those four days with her were a dream. We longed for that life for so long & we finally got it. It was everything that we ever dreamed of. Every second of every moment with her in our life was perfect. (other than the loud, & I mean LOUD ticking of the looming clock counting down the ninety six hours in the background...we could have done without that!) Not one thing with her was a chore. One afternoon she pooped like four times in a few hours & every time that we got to change her was our pleasure. When we went to breakfast & in the middle of it she needed to eat or be changed Thomas & I would fuss over which one of us would let our breakfast get cold to feed or change her. Those "task" as some would see them were the highlight of our days & we know that her BMother will never likely be able to see it that way. My point is, that we knew we wanted to be parents before & now we got to do it & it was everything & more than we ever could have imagined. The thing is that we had "Emma" & we want her back! How are we going to let that go? We know that we have to, so now comes the task to figure out how. Some have compared this to a death & it does in some ways feel like that. However, with a death you know that the person is gone. We know where she is. We know that she is not dead, but in some ways I guess she is dead to us, as no matter what we do we can't get her back in our arms.

I can also tell you that I knew that Thomas would be a good Daddy, but I had no idea. He was amazing in every way. Even the pediatrician said that we were quite a team working together just as it should be. He told us we were doing an amazing job. Most babies at eight days old he sees would have lost about ten percent of their body weight & then they gain that back. Miss Emma was already 7lbs 8oz (she was 7.5 at birth) & he said he didn't know when he had seen a healthier baby. We gushed with pride only to put her back in the BMom's arms only hours later. She was so unspoiled & perfect, her days filled with classical music & parents who adored her. What kind of world were we forced to place her in? We know that a lot of babies live in much worse & she will likely survive as most do, but we don't want her to survive, we wanted her to thrive & that just likely won't happen. I look at the clock periodically & think in my mind, "Well, the BMom has had her 72 hours now." or however long at the time it might be just thinking that our "Emma" really doesn't even exist anymore & the longer she has her the more that is true. Really, the moment that Thomas placed her back in the BMom's arms our "Emma" was gone. Instead she was now a little baby with a new name, a new mommy & very soon a new life....& somehow, someway we just have to get to a point of acceptance with that.

Many have said that we shouldn't give up hope as that call still may come. Yes, that would be a dream & YES, we would go as fast as we could!! However, we feel that it is unhealthy for us to live every moment with that idea in our minds. We must move forward. Life is too short not too. Some days it does feel as this might consume us, but we manage to keep going. We realize that each day, with each new morning we have the chance to begin again & to continue to settle into this new life without her that is now ours.

I have many photos of her. Many that I would love to share. However, I am not sure it is right to post them here on my blog. As much as I want to, she is not ours to share with the world. Yes, the four days that we had her...those were our days & we will treasure them always. If she were still with us, other than in our hearts, I would be flooding you with photos, but I just don't think I should in this forum with the current status of things as they are. However, if you want to see her sweet little face leave me a comment here with your email addy & I will gladly privately send you a couple shots of her.

Well, that is enough of that for now. I will post more a little later about some other happenings in our life, but for now I am a little drained & just need to sit back & take all of this in for a bit.