Our 6 months of waiting photo has 6 BIG baby items in it...high chair, doorway jumper, hippo walker, swing, exersaucer and a crib mattress. Everything was given to us by generous friends which simply blows us away (my Mom called it a mini-shower). Its hard to not think when walking into the guest room that a baby will soon be living in there! Other than its not set up at all, but these items give so much hope for "soon" to feel not so far away. I worried items like these would be a constant reminder of what we didn't have, but they haven't at all, just a reminder of hope that is not too far off.  

Last week I was in Jamaica for our youth groups 3rd trip to the Jamaican Deaf Village. Each year my love for this trip deepens because of the people and experiences we get to be a part of. The first year I went on this trip I was in a really hard place when it came to babies. I was a week shy of my last treatment for breast cancer (still had my port in!) and we visited a Children's Home. I wasn't nervous about anything else on the trip, other than I just didn't know how I'd respond to holding babies who needed a home when all I wanted was for a baby to be in our home. It was hard that year for sure, I remember those feelings like they were yesterday. Im thankful that these days, holding babies is like therapy to me and I just love it. No sadness that came with it just a few years ago. 

While in Jamaica I was talking with some of the missionaries there who asked how the adoption process was going. I told them that we're close to 6 months of waiting and they asked how long do you expect to wait? I told them a year and a half. In that moment, it clicked for me that a year and a half was April 2017. That there is a high chance I could not be on the trip to Jamaica next year, which I verbally processed out loud to them. There has only been one trip I didn't fully get to be a part of since starting my job over 8 years ago, and it was the summer of 2013 because of treatment. It broke my heart to watch all those vans drive away without me being on one of them. I got to be there for the last few days but it wasn't the same. When I explained to the missionaries that it would be really hard for me to not come next year, the wife said, you won't have as hard of a time not coming with a baby to hold at home. I know she is right, its a harder feeling to reconcile with at the moment. Also crazy to think about that at this point on... we are hopefully less than a year away!

A few days ago, something crazy good happened. We hit the $20k mark in fundraising! Currently we have $20,774 raised... thats only $4,226 left! And all of that has come from our super generous and loving community, which we can not thank you all enough for being our biggest cheerleaders through prayer and giving towards our adoption fund. Before we ever started this process, the biggest fear was having enough money to make it happen. Sharing this fear a dear friend told us "You guys could raise that, no problem. People love you." Which we know that our community loves us so much, even before any of this. Giving of your money to support our adoption, I wish I had the right words to tell you guys how much it means to us. Please know it means so much and each donation, no matter how much, brings hope to our hearts. So from every inch of our hearts, thank you guys for coming along in this long journey with us. Hoping with and for us has us in such an encouraging place. 

 

 

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Authoralisa windsor

**Warning: If you have not seen the movie Inside Out yet, do not read this post. Im talking about a very spoiler-y part of the movie. There isn't an update on our adoption (a whole week into waiting) in this post that you'll be missing, just sharing some thoughts from adoption support group. Go watch Inside Out, then come back and read the post.**

Tonight at adoption support group (which is a group made up of adoptees, birth mothers and adoptive mothers) we watched the wonderful movie Inside Out. Jason and I had seen it in theaters and loved it then. I think Inside Out is an important movie for adults and kids a like to see and think about. Feelings/emotions are things that are just hard to process and live in sometimes. I think, in Pixar's way, they explain a lot for simply being a brilliant cartoon. After we watched the film, the group talked about how the story of adoption ties into the Inside Out.

There is a scene, that I cried at both times watching this film where Joy and Bing Bong are in the pit where memories disappear. Only way for Joy to get out of the pit was for her and Bing Bong to ride Bing Bong's wagon, singing a song to power it. At the last second Bing Bong has to get out of the wagon so it reaches to the top of the rim, allowing Joy to return to Reily. Bing Bongs sacrifices himself, to do what is best for Reily.

I started my thought to the group out with "I apologize if this is a terrible analogy, but when Bing Bong sacrifices himself from the picture, with Reily on his mind, and makes sure that Joy can be with her... I think of Bing Bong as the birth mother in my situation. Except I don't want the birth mom to disappear from our child's life. But yeah, sorry, Im comparing birth mothers to Bing Bong."

I waited for a reaction, very nervous if I had offended the birth mothers in the room. Thankful, they chuckled and agreed completely with me.  One even said when she gave up her son, that was the norm, for the birth mothers to disappear. Now, many more domestic adoptions are open because that is what is best for the child. Birth mothers, especially our someday birth mother, are some of the bravest women out there. I still have my fears of the unknown of what a relationship with a birthmother looks like, but these brave women in my group each time we met encourage me more than they'll understand. 

 

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Authoralisa windsor

If you weren't on social media on Tuesday the 6th, guess what? We are officially waiting! I had sent an email to our social worker in the morning, just checking in (cause it had been over 5 weeks at that point) and I got a response back at lunch. Tuesday is Chick Fil A lunch at work, so I was sitting in the mist of the conversation and suddenly I saw I had an email from Bethany (I turned alerts on my email only when we began this process). I opened it with not a lot of hope so I might of just went "AHHH" out loud in the middle of everyone talking when I saw the words "you are officially waiting!". Couldn't believe it for a second. Of course, once again I get news when Im not with Jason, but if not with him, Im thankful to be with my teammates who celebrated with me. 

People have asked if it feels any differently. It hasn't really, its just the "good" waiting we are doing now. Making plans far in the future is a bit more difficult now, cause we still could  be waiting. Or it could be any day! What a crazy way to live for this planner. We're probably not going to start working on the nursery until the beginning of the year. Jason is more cautious about that than I am. Business of a retreat coming up for me and then the holidays, the time will fly by. There maybe different samples of grey paint in the room and cleaning out drawers is my new favorite thing to do, which Ive been told is nesting. So theres that. 

Thank you all who have been so excited for us this week and celebrated this big milestone with us. Means so much to have so many people routing for us along this journey. 

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Authoralisa windsor

Been a month since our social worker came to our home and told us it would be 2-3 weeks before our home study would be approved. 4 weeks and one email to her later, we are still waiting for it to be approved. Her supervisor has to approve it and she is backed up currently. So, we're waiting to wait. 

This past summer has been an up and down one for me as far as my emotions go. When we were working through the paperwork, I was so hopeful in this process because I felt movement. We were be active and doing something. Then the news of how long we might have to actually wait. The limbo time we are sitting in now, some days are just simply harder than others. I wish I knew when those days would come, but they always come without a warning.  An old friend wrote this regarding how she felt after a miscarriage:

That’s grief. It’s unpredictable, sometimes ugly and it fights you when you try to micromanage it. I have already found myself tempted to hurry the grieving process. Hurrying to get to the healing part. Hurrying to find lessons and use this to encourage someone else. Hurrying to figure out what this means for our future. But I’m trying to slow down. To sit in the pain a bit and give God room to speak.

Her words helped me name my feelings. What I am experiencing is grief to which I don't think I recognized until reading these words that could be my own. It's as if the words I didn't know I had come along to comfort me. Reminds me also of Lauren Winner's book 'Still', when she hit a wall in her faith and instead of pushing past it, she sat at the wall to see what God had for her there. Its hard work to do that. To sit with grief and see what it has for you instead of telling it what you have for it. Im also comforted by the Psalms "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." and Isaiah "...a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." As I was reminded in a sermon not long ago, our tears mean so much to Jesus and Jesus grieves with us. 

In the adoption support group, a new to the group birth mom asked "What do adoptive mother's have to grieve over?". As frustrating as this question is, I can understand why she asked it. We don't give up a baby like birth mothers do, but we certainly experience loss. For this hopeful adoptive mom, I grieve the fact that Jason and I will probably never know what our biological children would look like. I grieve how long this process is taking and watching so many easily get pregnant and in 9 short months a child will be added to their family. I grieve the brokenness of this world and how unfair everything feels right now. In the mist of this Im so thankful for a Savior who grieves with me and doesn't ask me to believe in platitudes. For friends who say along with me "You're right, that feels really unfair." For the alerts from our adopt together page say that yet another person has donated to our adoption fund. Thank you to those of you who sit with us in this grief and hope with us. 

 

 

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Authoralisa windsor