Guest blogging at Re{de}fining

I’m excited to announce that I am guesting blogging today over at Re{de}fining.  My dear friend, Jenn, is doing a series on motherhood for the month of October.  She graciously asked me to share my journey to motherhood because not all of her readers, or women for that matter, have come to be a mother easily.  There are countless heartbreaking stories of women who have been trying for years to have a baby and just as many moms with empty arms due to miscarriages.  Jenn was thoughtful enough to consider this side of motherhood and wanted me to contribute to her series.  So, go check out her blog, and leave a comment to enter for a chance to win some of my jewelry!

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a beautiful correlation: part 2

The parallels that can be drawn from my once-in-a-lifetime hike through a vineyard in Italy and the story of our journey through the adoption process are not that far fetched.  Even how I stumbled upon the simple connection of the two is barely enough to receive a second thought.  However, the comfort and hope that it has brought me through this recent darkness, is enough for me to want to share it with you.

 If I were to map out the path of my incredible hike in Italy and our adventure to becoming parents through adoption, a pattern emerges of familiar disappointments with pleasant surprises, heartache eased with joy, and pain comforted by hope.

When we began our hike, I saw the City on the Hill.  I was instantly discouraged.  It looked too hard to even take another step.  I wanted to give up immediately and turn around.

When we started our journey to parenthood, I daydreamed of what every step would look like since I was a little girl.  We found out early on that things were not going to be easy, and that we were going to have to find courage to continue. 

Because of the unknown, the beginning of my hike was dreadful.  It was quite pitiful how desperate I was to find an excuse to quit.  I was quickly exhausted, discouraged, and exasperated.  Thankfully, there were many people put along that path to encourage and comfort me.

After our struggle with losing our first baby, and the battle of two failed rounds of fertility medicine, I was left feeling hopeless, depleted, and weary.  Beginning the adoption papers was daunting, and the fear of our uncertain future was almost unbearable at times.  Thankfully, the Lord placed many people in my life that had traveled this road before us, and even some precious new & old friends that could walk along with us too.

Thankfully, right before the point that I was completely burnt out, there was a beautiful place of rest.  On our hike, this first came as I got a surprise glimpse of Manarola, and then as we took a longer break at the ancient cathedral.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”          Matthew 11:28

This breathe of fresh air came in the form of educational seminars held by our adoption agency.  It was a welcome break from the piles of paperwork and endless questionnaires.  During this process we were able to find hope in the encouragement from our case worker, we were surrounded by others going through the same steps, and we were inspired with testimonies from birthmothers.  It was just enough to energize us for the next leg of this journey. 

After each break, the journey continues.  The path gets a little bit more rockier, which usually means there’s a difficult road ahead.

I have a merciful and gracious Savior.  He alone is my Hope.  He never promised me that it would be an easy journey. Even when I don’t know what the next turn will be, He gives me a glance of my past.  A beautiful reminder of how far I’ve come, and how He has never left my side.

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”  Isaiah 41:13

Naturally, I had an image in my head of how I presumed each of these journeys will play out.  Ideally, there are things that I expect to happen and things that I want to happen.  My hike in Italy is just a beloved memory now.  It played out so differently than I expected, but looking back, I would not have changed a single thing.  I would gladly take every painstakingly miserable step again.  Because through it all I found beauty and learned a few lessons about myself.

However, about this adoption journey… I fear that it is far from over. There are so many ways that I wanted this to play out.  If I’d had my way, there would be a baby in my arms right now, probably drooling on me as I typed this.  Eventually, one day I’ll be thankful that it didn’t work out my way.  Because that view of looking back and seeing how far I’ve come-through lonely nights, heartaches, tears, and empty arms-that view is worth it all.  And it’s always more beautiful than I could have imagined.  

It’s been a rough few weeks dealing with my emotions and my impatience.  By comparing these stories, I’ve reminded myself of how glorious the journey can be.  I’m going to try to enjoy this adventure a little more and try not to skip to the end.                                              I wouldn’t want to miss out on anything marvelous along my path.  

a beautiful correlation: part 1

I’ve been doing a little reminiscing lately.  A few days ago would have been our sweet Baby Brock’s third birthday.  It’s hard to comprehend that it has been that long, yet some moments feel like I just blinked and found myself where I am today.  Two years ago this week we were wandering the streets and beaches of Italy celebrating my twin brother’s wedding to his lovely bride.  To remind myself that it wasn’t a dream, I just happened to comb through a few of the thousands of pictures that we’d taken.

Somewhere in the middle of swimming in the rocky Mediterranean Sea and the fine dining of the Rehearsal Dinner, I began to see a beautiful correlation between our adoption journey and one of the hardest things I’ve ever made myself do.  As the analogy of these two grew stronger, the Lord whispered some comfort into my soul. And He gave me a glimpse of the Hope that is to come.  Please bare with me as I find the words to explain the revelation of my heart about this beautiful, challenging, and glorious journey of adoption that we are traveling.

One of the most difficult {physical} challenges that I have ever faced in my life took place while vacationing in Italy.  I am no athlete in any sense of the word.  The biggest joke of my life was that I was employed as an elementary school P.E. teacher for a solid year.  On our trip to Italy, I was not completely out of shape. It would be safer to say that I never purposely found leisurely entertainment (including physical activities) that would stretch the boundaries of my comfort bubble.

Nonetheless, I found myself all the way across the world getting ready to take a hike in a vineyard.  There were promises from multiple sources that it would be a casual hike, nothing too difficult for a former P.E. teacher like myself.  Our tour guide, in his rich Italian accent, did his best to explain that his grandmother made this hike twice a day, and she was in her upper 60’s.  The first part of the hike was enough to leave me winded and dreadfully pessimistic about the outcome of the next several hours.

If you notice in the first picture collage, at the top you will see a city on a hill.  Volastra: The City of Olives.  The name alone was enough inspiration to keep going.  I causally asked Mr. Accent if that was where we were going.  With a handsome Italian smile and broken English, he encouraged me that we would make it there eventually.  Had I known what I know now, I probably would have turned around and enjoyed a nap from my room with a ridiculously gorgeous view of the ocean.

After we’d made the tedious climb through the alleyways of Manarola, our chosen city in Cinque Terre, we found ourselves at a pathway made of stairs.  These stairs were hundreds of years old.  They seemed harmless enough, but the stretched for miles.  And miles, and miles.  Alongside these stairs was the occasional hut that was used by the vineyard workers.  Some were old tiny abodes.  We were completely surrounded by what seemed like ordinary brush and bushes.  If you looked closer at many of these tiny trees, you would see the olive trees beginning to bearing their fruit.  There was also the grape vines that were one week away from harvest!

These steps began to get the best of me.  I started to take longer breaks and my excuses to stop and take picture became more frequent.  I was reminded by my Italian friend that this was not meant to be a race.  He encouraged me to take my time, despite being embarrassed that I was slowly trailing far behind the others.

During one of these breaks in our hike among the olive trees, my tour guide and faithful cheerleader pulled me and my husband (who had wisely chosen to keep my pace instead of following the crowd) into a little cove off the path.  I’m sure the rest of our group had already passed this point because they were out of sight.  Oddly enough, I remember there being some construction tape.  We crept around the tape carefully; perhaps it was there as a warning but we dared to go on.  We pulled back a few branches that surprisingly revealed a glimpse of the blue-green ocean.  Despite having legs of jelly and gasping for air, that sight was a beautiful taste of hope.  Being on the long trail, I failed to realize how far we had come.  I think our tour guide knew the encouragement that the spectacular view would bring to me!  Little did I know, we had so much further to go.

Not long after that beautiful glimpse, we came into a city.  This city was full of more beautiful alleyways, better views of the ocean, but my favorite was the church.  Inside, the walls told stories of centuries long before my time.  It seemed to stand there as a haven of rest for so many who had taken that long journey before me.  As the entire group rallied together again, I was encouraged and even excited to keep following this path.  I was still very unsure of where it was taking us, but the promise of more magnificent views were enough to keep me going.

After we left the city, we began to take a more rugged path.  It was rocky, narrow, and a little dangerous.  We left the safety of the familiar steps, and began our excursion on the mountainside.  The views during this part of our journey were much more spectacular.  We could clearly see the city of Manarola behind us.  I was constantly astonished at how far we had come.  It literally took my breath away to know that I had already made it that far, and not only I had survived but I was wanting to go further!  The pictures truly do not do justice to the beauty of this city or the color of the ocean.  Before this experience, I thought places like this only existed on postcards.

At one point on our journey, the pathway became so narrow and dangerous that I found myself scared.  I was scared of the unknown; I was scared because I know myself so well, and I  do lack a certain amount of grace.  I was surrounded by friends and family, and the comfort of my husband was a mere arm’s length away.  But that did not completely erase my fears.  We were able to laugh when the hard part was over.  Even as we look back now, our memory erases so much of the apprehension.

Somewhere along that long journey we found ourselves stepping in line and keeping up with the pace.  We were traveling downhill. However, I soon realized that I wasn’t as discouraged, or winded, or near death as I thought that I would be by the end.  Each step brought something beautiful to look at and something glorious to appreciate.

Remember the City on the Hill?  I had long forgotten about it.  What I had hoped for so desperately at the beginning of this seemingly endless journey was indeed our final destination.  Here, we got to sit down and rest. And celebrate.  In true Italian fashion, we celebrated with a wine tasting!

The entire group seemed to savor the last few steps home.  I, more than anyone, took each humble step with thankfulness.  So thankful to have made it despite my fears and my inability to do it on my own.  I can definitely say that I have never had to do anything that physically challenging in my life before or since then.

The sun was beginning to set as we made our way back into Manarola.  On the horizon we could see the rain clouds rolling in.  Sweet relief after such a warm day.  We quickly showered to get ready for the rehearsal dinner, and spent the rest of evening talking about a journey that we will never forget.

Right now: My current flow of thoughts.

Right now, there is an 8 week shadow of grunge all over my house.

I haven’t had the strength to clean it.

Right now, if I had the strength, I’d rather go buy clean unmentionables, instead of tackling all the loads of laundry.  But then, I’d probably have to wash those before I could wear them.

Pajama pants are my best friend right now.

There isn’t anything to eat in the fridge, anything fresh enough that wouldn’t make you sick, at least.  I’m kinda craving pizza rolls, but we don’t have any of those either, of course.

Right now my face is swollen and I feel drab & yucky.

It’s because I’ve been sick for almost two months straight.  And crying randomly.  I can’t remember the last time I wore makeup.

Cough drops have been more like candy lately.

Right now there is a sharp pain in my chest.

Mainly from coughing for two weeks. Also, because it hurts when I’m sad and discouraged.

Brad knows exactly how to make me laugh.  Even if he’s picking on me, and I’m feeling like this.  I miss kissing him because I haven’t wanted to share my lovely germs.

Right now it is hard to see past the things that I don’t have instead of being thankful for what I’m blessed with.

I am really thankful that I finally found a pillow that I love.  It only took three years to find it, give or take a month.

What do I want most that I don’t have?  A baby.

My arms long, my nose craves, my lips burn and my heart aches to hold, smell, kiss, and love on a little bitty babe that I can call my own.  Haven’t we waited long enough?

Right now I miss my family.  I’m homesick.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve convinced myself that even thirty minutes towards home would make a huge difference.  Truthfully, that’s a lie.

Home is where your heart is, right?  Brad has my heart, but there are little pieces that will always be back in South Carolina, and wherever those adorable nieces are.

I keep praying for God to take us back home, but those are prayers that I don’t think will be answered the way that I want them to be.  At least not now, anyways.

Maybe I should change the way I’m praying.

Actually, I know I should.  But right now I feel selfish.  I want things my way, and that is reflected in my prayers.

I want a house near our family, with a nursery large enough to have a ottoman for my rocking chair.  A nursery that Brad and & I could both stand in at the same time and watch our baby sleeping.  Our baby, that we don’t have to wait for any longer.  I want a craft room that isn’t a cramped nook in the corner, where I can finally get something accomplished.  A kitchen that has a real big girl pantry, near a screened in porch.  With maybe a puppy…

Right now, I wish I could fake it.

I wish that I didn’t have to experience the ugly side of things.  My defenses are all worn down and I am tired of fighting.  This is part of the story that I don’t want to share.  The part where I’m weak and my faith is running low.

The things that we are facing right now are not necessarily greater than anything anyone else is facing.  But the relativity of our circumstances to our situation seem to be more than I can bear lately.  Basically, I’m tired.

Right now, even through my doubt, my fears, my sadness and pain, my selfish prayers, and my sick coughs and emotional tears.  I know there is Hope.

If God knows my heart as perfectly as I believe he does, then He knows I still believe in Him.  And I believe Him when He said that this life of following Him wouldn’t be easy.

Right now I’m trusting that the Lord has plans for my life, my marriage, our family, our future.  These plans are for my own well being.  He promises He will take care of me, and not abandon me.

His plans are to give me the future that I’ve dared to hope for.

Jeremiah 29:11

Summing up Summer

I have to admit that I’m a little jealous of my teacher friends. I secretly get psyched when boxes of crayons can be purchased for pennies, the urge to buy paper in bulk becomes irresistible, and I legitimately crave the smell of freshly sharpened pencils. I would get sick with dread when I had to go to school, but there is a different kind of excitement that comes with being the teacher. That excitement must bring a little bit of bittersweetness too. The colorful sale-filled isles at the store signal the end of another summer.

Doesn’t it seem like the summer passes quicker with each year?

Now, I will not apologize for not blogging all summer because I promised myself I wouldn’t do that. There aren’t any high expectations, remember? But I will do a fast little recap, for my memory’s sake, which is already fading faster than the leaves are turing colors.

In early June, we were able to visit our beloved Seabrook Island. It’s our little hideaway from reality. When we visit we feel like we leading a different life, far from the worries of the everyday grind. Isn’t that what vacation is supposed to be about? This year, the Lord gave us a sign that we just needed to sit back, relax, and put our feet up. Literally.

Those pictures should speak for themselves, but the story begs for some clarification. My darling husband, who is a few mere months from 30 decided that he would try to skim board for the first time in his life. My best friend had her camera in hand at the perfect moment. If you could zoom in to his right foot, you would notice that it’s bending at a very unnatural angle. Clockwise from the money shot, you can see his sandy but cheerful face being wheeled back for an x-ray, and next he’s trying his hand at (some very expensive) crutches. Luckily, my man only sprained his ankle, but the doctor was shocked that nothing was broken. We spent the week learning to relax. We can laugh about it now, but the Lord really wanted us to just rest and not do too much. My parents were able to join us for a few days, and we got to spend some much needed time laughing, talking, and relaxing.

Because our best friends live so close to Seabrook, we were able to spend a few afternoons loving on their babies. These pictures were taken at the end of the week when Brad’s limits extended to the point of him hobbling around with only one crutch.

It was a wonderful trip that will forever be know as the vacation with the skim board incident. It was also the highlight of our summer. The problem with having your main vacation at the beginning of the summer is that the rest of it is a little anticlimactic.

Other than our trip to Seabrook, we’ve taken a few trips back “home” to visit family. This summer has been filled with a lot of sickness too. I’ve had my first serious encounter with food poisoning. I may have thought that I’ve had it in the past, even joking when food doesn’t agree with me. However, I wasn’t joking when I managed to land an adventurous trip to the Emergency Room, and I now know what true food poisoning looks like. It ain’t pretty, and the ER trip selfishly took a hefty chunk out of our adoption fund.

There isn’t much else that is noteworthy of our Summer ’12 other than the fact that we are still trying to prepare our home for a little baby.  We finally completed two projects for Baby Broccoli, but they deserve a post of their own.  So here’s a farewell to the daily afternoon thunderstorms, no excuses needed for ice cream treats, and to hoping that next year, we can introduce little chubby baby feet to the beaches of our beloved Seabrook.

a wicked good time

This post is merely for memory’s sake.  It seems as though every year I try to remember what we did celebrate our anniversary, or birthday, or any event for that matter for the previous year.  I don’t know if the events are just not that memorable or if my memory fails me.  I don’t like to admit that I’m getting older, but I know that Brad always makes a wonderful effort at making things special for me.  So maybe my memory is foggy, sleepy, just insert a word that doesn’t make me sound old.

We got married when I was 22 years old, and three days.  I’m completely ok with my birthday and our anniversary being so close together.  I don’t demand two separate celebrations or gifts.  It’s nice, but my present is usually bigger if they’re combined.  So this year Brad surprised me with tickets to see Wicked.  I talked about wanting to see it many, many months ago and then forgot about getting tickets because I assumed they were sold out.  My Boo came through, and surprised me with another romantic night.  I adore that man!

These were my sweet treats for my birthday.  A cookie-topped cupcake?  Yes, please.

It was the perfect present, and we had a wicked good time.  Happy 6 years together Lovie!

buy buy baby

We did something this weekend that I’ve laid in bed at night and dreamed about for years.  We created a registry for Baby Broccoli.  Though it was still glorious, it didn’t quite turn out like I had envisioned that it would.  To begin, the first place that we went to was relocating. Everything was clearanced out and there was only about a quarter of the merchandise still left in the store.  Fail. Since the next option was across town, we opted to wait for the following day to register.  I didn’t sleep that night from excitement!

If I had been a little wiser, I would have laid there and try to prepare myself for all of the things that were NOT going to be like my golden dreams of a perfect world.  Simply put, baby registries are not designed for adopting parents.  They are beautifully built around the expectant mother who is glowing in all her pregnant glory.  An ugly reminder to a woman like myself.  One of the first things that they inquire about: due date.

Geez!  My initial thought was, I’m not even guaranteed to get a baby, and I need to try to pick out a random date anywhere between now and 2014?  Um, can I get a divinely inspired answer please God?  

Boy or Girl?  Not sure, just put surprise!

Do you know the dates of your baby showers?  No, I guess that can be a surprise too.

Have you thought about what travel system or bottles you want to use?  Blank stares were exchanged.

Needless to say, it took us about 10 or 15 minutes to overcome our shock, and then we were just consumed with being overwhelmed with all of our options.  The excitement was still there, it may have just been riddled with fear.  Oh, and we also received a free bag of goodies for registering.

Here are just a few useless gifts in our baggie: Fit Pregnancy magazine, cream for the nursing mother, vitamins for expectant mothers, coupons for creams & vitamins, nursing pad thingys, lotion for growing bellies, and breast milk storage bags.

There were two different ways that I could have chosen to handle these unexpected, um, blessings.  I could have let it turn my attitude sour, or I could take it all in stride.  I chose the latter, I think.  I’ll admit that it wasn’t easy to skip a large section of the store because it didn’t apply to our situation.  Or not be able to pick out gender-specific clothes.  Or avoid eye contact with people so they didn’t ask when my due date was.  We managed to get through it though. It turned out that we really did have fun; exhausting. overwhelming, I-can’t-believe-we-finally-got-to-do-that-fun.

I was mesmerized watching Brad try to figure out the strollers. He went crazy in the toy section, and was very particular when we got to the bottles.  We walked out of the store smiling and holding hands.  Despite the reminders of things that are not, there were even more delightful reminders of things that are to come.  Little bitty, teeny tiny things.

And while we’re talking about it, Here is our registry.  Can you think of anything that we forgot?

Jewelry Party

My darling friend, Meredith, is quite possibly the most thoughtful and kind person placed on God’s green earth.  If not first, she’s a close second to a saint.  She came up with the brilliant idea of having a jewelry party at her house to help raise money for our adoption.  She was the most precious hostess!  There were yummy treats like homemade brownies and cheesecake stuffed strawberries.  It was truly a lovely evening.

I swiped these pictures from her blog to show you how wonderful it really was!  Thanks for everything Mere!

Mother’s Day

I’m sure there are dates on everyone’s calendar that seem to loom above the rest in an I’m-dreading-you-but-I-know-I-need-to-act-happy-for-others-kind-of-way.  If you don’t have one, will you pretend for me, so I don’t feel like I have less than human emotions?

Mother’s Day has been one of those days for me for the past 5 years.  For the last three of those years, I’ve had a sweet little reason in Heaven to celebrate.  Do you know how hard it is to celebrate that?  I’m know some of you don’t have to imagine.

This year for Mother’s Day, Brad told me a few days before that he had to unexpectedly work all weekend.  We were both incredibly bummed, so he literally had to help me pack up and convince me to head to the Upstate for the weekend.  It was a sweet and thoughtful gesture on his end.  He knew I didn’t need to be home alone to ponder my thoughts.  I was able to conspire with my younger brother and his lovely wife to meet me at mother’s house to surprise her for the weekend.  I even stopped at my sister’s house on the way and kidnapped my youngest niece.

It was a relaxing weekend where we crafted, watched movies, and stayed up late talking.  The Bitty niece kept us thoroughly entertained too.  My favorite moment happened on Saturday afternoon. I wondered into the living room to see what Bitty was up to.  She had her back turned to me, and she was obviously getting into something.  I looked an realized that the basket of baby goodies that my grandmother had been saving for me was scattered on the floor.  As I walked up to Atalie, she turned around and said “Bibby, help please!”  In her hand was a pack of paci’s that she was trying to rip open.  I tried to explain that Nanny bought those paci’s for Bibby’s baby.  She was utterly confused, and proclaimed, “No! Ata’s paci!”  After several more attempts at explaining that they were not for her, she looked at me and said, “Ata is Bibby’s Baby!”  So I opened them I let her have a paci, or two.

This is the ONLY picture of her that didn’t turn out blurry because we were laughing hysterically!

Ultimately, the big smile on my Mama’s face was more than enough to help ease the pain that comes along on the second Sunday of every May.  I woke up that Sunday morning to my phone ringing.  It was my precious hubby calling to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day.  In his voice, I could hear his compassion, understanding, and love.  We talked for just a few minutes before he had to go, and together we dared to hope that maybe, just maybe, this will be our last Mother’s Day without a sweet baby in our arms to help us celebrate.

already so loved.

Our sweet baby Broccoli is so loved, already.  It makes this Mama’s heart so happy to know that our precious family and friends are not only praying with us but are excited to see our family growing.

Oh mercy, I was so thrilled to go to the mail box TWICE this week to find a surcee for our little bundle of joy!

One of my sweet friends from college, who is having a little boy towards the end of August, sent me a package with the most encouraging card, several outfits, and a handmade burp cloth that she made especially for us.  Wouldn’t it be perfect if we got a baby around the same time that she had her baby?  Ahhh, I get cold chills just thinking about it!  And guess what she’s naming her son…Bradley Christopher.  A.dor.able.

The next day, I got an even bigger package in the mail.  Except it wasn’t addressed to me. Or Brad.  The package was mailed to a Demetricleze Broccoli Brock.  (I think I spelled that right.)  My witty middle niece has lovingly nicknamed our child for us.  If you know her, you probably aren’t surprised.  When I opened the box, I squealed.  It was not a pretty lady-like squeal either.  I jumped up and down and started snorting laughing when I realized what it was…

Because this popped out of the box:

It is quite possibly the cutest stuffed toy in. the. whole. wide. world.  Have you ever seen a stuffed broccoli?  I thought something this cute only existed in my dreams.  Au, contraire.  He does exist and lives at my house now. In my baby’s rocking chair.  My big sister sent this to me and surprised my socks off.  Her card made me cry too!

Have I mentioned how blessed we are with our sweet family and friends?  And our baby (aka Demetricleze Broccoli Brock) is already loved by so many.  A million thank you’s ladies for your sweet thoughtfulness!

more paperwork. oh, joy!

Let’s laugh together while we read this line from our adoption agency, shall we?

“We recently learned that in order to remain in compliance with the federal Adam Walsh law pertaining to adoptions, all of our domestic adoptive families should have child abuse checks completed for each state you have resided in up to five years ago.”

Guess how long we’ve lived in NC?  About four years and nine months.  We just thought we were finished with our paperwork.  We aren’t complaining though.  This is just a beautiful journey.  (I am going to record that and play it on repeat.)  At least this SC background checks that we need aren’t too complicated to get.  We just have to pay more money, and fill out a paper asking them to make sure we aren’t sketchy people.

(Here’s another side note:  If you’ve ever lived in fear of identity theft, start the adoption process.  SO many people will know SO many intricate details of your life, that you will soon be cured.)  I guess this is kind of like childbirth, in the way that by the time the baby is finally out, you don’t care who has seen you-know-what, you’re just glad your babe is in your arms.  Now, I have the upmost faith that our agency will keep our information safe, but Heavens to Betsy, I’ve given my SS# so many times, I might as well tattoo it to my forehead.

Needless to say, we’re going to be waiting another week or so, hopefully no longer than that, until we can officially be put on the waiting list.  Waiting to wait.  This is such a beautiful journey.

Here’s the wrap up:

  • Submit check & paper work to SC for background checks.
  • Wait for that to be mailed back to adoption agency.
  • Send Profile Books to each office in NC. (We got those in the mail! They are everything I wanted them to be!)
  • Wait for our agency to send us our official approval letter.
  • Be put on the waiting list for a baby!
  • Wait, wait, wait.  Pray, pray, and PRAY!!

Profile Book, Take 2 {Adoption Update}

Our case worker is absolutely amazing.  She is take-your-breathe gorgeous, but she is equally as beautiful on the inside too.  Bless her, she looked through our profile book with patience and an unbiased eye.  She corrected a few misspellings, evidently I am not as much of a perfectionist with certain details than I am with others.  Her only suggestion was that we add our picture to the last page, so that whoever is reading our book could imagine us as they read the last letter.  It was such a compliment to hear her say that she could tell that I had put a lot of time into it!  The book has been paid for and sent off to be printed so I can’t change it, even if I wanted to.

I’m choosing to share our profile book with you, definitely not so I can say ‘look at what I’ve done’, but simply so others who have to go through this process can have an example.  I am a visual learner, and I had a sweet friend let me see her book so I could have a starting point.  So here is a link…drum roll please.

Also, here are a few tips that I was given and some things that I learned while putting together our book:

  • Include pictures that make you seem “approachable”.  Don’t let all your pictures seem too posed.
  • If available, consider using pictures of you with other children.
  • Don’t get too wordy, let your pictures tell most of your story.
  • Make your words count, get to the point, but be honest and open.
  • Be creative and show your personality!
  • Don’t over-analyze how you look in a photo.  Birthparents are looking for perfect individuals, they want to see REAL people.
  • Have fun!  Look at this as part of the adventure, not just another item on your check list.

It may have seemed like a daunting task at first, but I really started to enjoy myself.  Each page became a sweet reminder of how far we’ve come, and how we’ve been guarded by God’s hand each step of the way!