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.