All the feels.

adoption  

Today is a big day in our little world. After months of planning and praying, the time has come to submit our first adoption agency application. And being as it is an application, it means we still have to get accepted. Definitely need some prayers on that front because this is an option that is much more affordable than our other alternatives.

With that, I've had a few weeks of feeling all the things. All. The. Things.

I imagine this is what it's like when the reality sets in for pregnant peeps that they're having a HUMAN.

At least for pregnant peeps, you have 9 months to get your head wrapped around/kind of prepared for it. My reality is that we've spent so much time focused on the details of getting a baby, that I now have to figure out how to raise one. I find myself looking at families so differently now. Every family I see out an about, I observe...the struggles, the frustrations, the rewards. Parenting is no joke!

I'm about to venture into uncharted territory and it scares me to death. But at the same time, I can't help but think that's what God has been preparing me for these last 11 years. Years spent leaning into Him and getting through only by trusting Him.

So in my momentary freak outs of "I haven't read any baby books" and "how do I know what to buy" and "I've got to get the carpets cleaned" and "what if my child hates me"....I lean back into the whispers that God has placed in my heart over these years.

"Lauren, I am faithful."

He is oh so faithful. He's faithful to complete what He starts. He's faithful to sustain us when we can't sustain ourselves. He's faithful to be right beside us.

My heart is on a roller coaster of excitement, anticipation, fear, hope, love. And I'm so grateful for it all. This dream we've had for so long is slowly coming into sight. And while it looks much different than we originally dreamed it, I have to believe it's so much better.

The Feast.

I promise this will be my last thanksgiving related post. I mean after all, we are now fully immersed in all things Christmas. But let me give you a little background on why my thanksgiving meal was a big deal.

Don't judge me.

I hate thanksgiving food. I know, I've got issues. This is nothing we didn't already know.

This year in particular is funny because the very first thanksgiving that i spent with my dad, i refused to eat the meal. Pretty sure I had a roll and some pickles. And then later that night I was starving, sweet talked my brothers into asking dad to order me a pizza. Since it was my first visit out there, I got a one and only free pass, and so, we had late night pizza from a place called Sam's, I think.

So needless to say, 13 years later, I professed my love to my family by making them a real thanksgiving meal.

The menu (see picture):

IMG_2613

Now, we had a slight mishap, as my dad got bored while I was cooking and decided to do some electrical work in my kitchen, which unknown to us, tripped the breaker that the crock pot was plugged into. We found this out too late, so the Mississippi pot roast ended up being finished much later than the rest of the food, so it was our dinner on Friday.

DSCN0373

Remember a few posts back where I told you about my pie addiction? Well I sure did buy pies from there for the feast! Delicious!

Generally, I hate turkey. But the marinade I used for this one made it scrumptious. It's basically a mixture of oil, wine, soy sauce and garlic. I let it marinade 24 hours. Then we popped that bad boy on the grill (using indirect heat) for a couple of hours. Mmmmm.

Basically, it was all yummy to our tummies.

 

Christmas without.Β 

I never thought by my 32nd Christmas on this earth that I wouldn't be celebrating it with you. There are touches of you all around my house, but YOU are no where to be found. Never in a million years did I ever think you wouldn't be here to experience life with. What I wouldn't give for one more conversation. One more hug. One more smile. One more anything really.

I wasn't prepared to have to be an adult without you. I guess nothing ever prepares us for life without our moms.

I wasn't prepared for the constant waves of emotions you not being here has caused. And frankly, it pisses me off!

You were supposed to be here mom! You were supposed to be by my side when I bring my baby home. You were supposed to be the one who knows me the best and I bet now, you wouldn't know me at all.

I know that heaven must be amazing. And my heart simply aches until I can be there with you. I miss you so terribly. Words can't even begin to describe.

And while everyone is full of their Christmas joy and family celebrations, I too am full of joy, but also a bit broken because there is an empty spot at the table that you should be filling.

Ten years. I should have a grip by now.

But that's never going to happen. I will never fully have a grip on a life without you in it.

Family Goodness

So this Thanksgiving was pretty much one of the best I've EVER had. IMG_0077

It was just a little bit special ;) My dad and step-mom came in on Wednesday afternoon and it was so good to see them. We went to dinner with my inlaws and showed them around our cute little town.

IMG_0084

Then Thursday was the big day. My first ever Thanksgiving feast! Don't worry...I will be devoting a whole post to the meal. It deserves it. My brother Cody, Christie and the kids, all came up Thursday afternoon and everyone settled in for yummy goodness.

IMG_0112

My house was full of the BEST baby giggles, play time and just all around goodness. A few of us headed out Thursday night for a little black Friday shopping and then we were back home in plenty of time for pies and a movie.

IMG_0008

Friday morning we all got up, got dressed and headed out for some OVERDUE family photos. Granted, I was missing a couple of brothers and families, but it was fun nonetheless. Everyone did so good with picture time! And of course Cove was over the moon that we were right by the train tracks.

IMG_0161

After family photos, we loaded up and headed out for some grub. One of our favorite Texas food chains is a place called Chuy's. Well, there just so happens to be one in my 'hood, so that's where we dashed off to. Happy bellies ensued.

IMG_0176

Next stop on the tour was Woodstock Market, which is my favorite junking store. You never know what you'll see that needs to come home with you!

IMG_0224

Afterwards, we headed home for the babies to get in a nap. Pretty sure grandma and grandpa snuck one in too. While the sleepy headsΒ danced with sugar plums, the rest of us went to see the final Hunger Games movie. And then it was back home for leftovers for dinner.

IMG_0243

I'm not quite sure I can put into words just how full my heart was when everyone left. There was something special about having my tribe (or at least part of it) here with me. Thirteen years ago I flew to Colorado on Thanksgiving to meet my dad, step-mom, and brothers for the very first time. I'm so glad I did. We've come a long way in the last 13 years and this crew means the absolute world to me.

IMG_0264 copy

Thanksgiving is here!!!

Happy Thanksgiving week my dear friends! I LOVE this time of year. Seriously, it's my absolute favorite of favorites. I really love any reason to have a whole bunch of family at my house, so that's a plus too! What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? I want to know!

This year is particularly special for me because my parents are coming in from Texas and this will be their first ever trip to stay with me. I'm excited beyond measure. Usually we just head west to see them and all my family in the great state of Texas, but this year we have our new house and plenty of room for everyone to stay. My heart is bursting with joy! My younger brother and his family are coming up too! It'll be a full house, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

My love for these folks runs deep as I am making my first ever Thanksgiving meal. I typically hate Thanksgiving food. I know, I know. But I'm spoiled, what can I say? However, THIS YEAR, I'm going all out. There will be turkey and stuffing, macaroni and cheese, potatoes, green beans, and lots of pie! I will be sure to document all of this momentous occasion.

And in true procrastination form, whilst cleaning (or supposed to be cleaning) the house, I got *distracted* and put up the Christmas tree. Oops.

So anyway, I hope this week brings you great joy, no matter what your situation may be. There are little glimmers of hope and blessings in even the darkest of times. Search hard and find those blessings this week.

xoxo.

So Broken.

As we continue moving forward in our adoption, I am learning more and more. Today I think I got just a glimpse at just how broken some of these birth moms are. My heart is in a million pieces as I try to wrap my mind around it. It's funny how judgmental we can be when we view "situations" that people are in. Oh but when you see them as people, oh my goodness, it's just so sad.

We had an out of the norm scenario pop up today that was sent our way just in case we wanted to present our profile for it. We are not presenting on this case, but as I read through the info on the birth mom, my eyes were opened so much.

Her stats:

  • birth mom is married, but pregnant by another man, which she does not know for sure which man it was...so could be one of two different races. husband is staying with her and will sign over father rights since he would be the legal father.
  • he has done this for her before, as she has given several babies to adoptive families. she has come to view herself as someone made to help families.
  • she's heading to prison any day now. she is currently on methadone to come off of the cocaine she was using before finding out she was pregnant.

And then I saw her picture. Put a face to those stats. My heart was pierced.

This whole situation of adoption is made up of such brokenness. My personal brokenness from the decade of infertility. The birth family's brokenness from the circumstances that ultimately lead them to place their baby for adoption; broken from knowing they are not capable of providing a quality life for a child. And then there's the brokenness of the sweet baby - answers that will be given, but never good enough to fully complete the gaping hole left in their heart of not being "wanted" or "fought for".

But even in the midst of all that is broken or seems wrong, there's Jesus. And He is able to take all those millions of shattered pieces and place them back together like a mosaic. Maybe not like you would imagine, but an equally beautiful masterpiece. I'm excited to see what He creates out of this broken mess of mine. And I've got a new outlook on these sweet birth moms having to make this decision and choose a new life for their babies. They're not just stats on a page...they are real, live broken ladies.

Adoption Update

Let's face it - I'm officially obsessed with all things adoption. Part of me wants to tell you that I won't be talking about it forever, but I do believe that would be a lie. This journey transforms you. And when something transforms you, you can't help but talk about it. But I promise not to make every single post about it, okay? So for an update. Well, due to some amazing family and friends, we're 1/3 of the way to our first $10,000! That's AWESOME! My people are the greatest in the world.

We had an opportunity to present to our first birth mom a couple of weeks ago, and unfortunately, we weren't in the final picks. A little bummed, but we have 100% peace about it. If it's not the baby God ordained for us, then we don't want it!

Words on repeat: His plan over our plan. His plan, over our plan.

Last weekend my mother in law and I worked a holiday vendor expo and sold lots of BBQ sandwiches and made a little cash for our baby fund! Woohoo! I'm now working on pulling together a ridiculous amount of stuff for a yard sale.

I started making some progress in the nursery. Now it's officially a disaster. Lol.

Currently: we are applying for grants and such. what a ridiculous process. there's SO much paperwork! Also, we're trying to get to the $10,000 mark so we'll have almost half of our funding in order to move forward with presenting to other birth moms. It's super hard to present, and say, well, we'd like to present for this adoption that we know will cost about $25,000, but currently we only have $4,000. Nerve wracking I tell you. As always, if you feel led to become part of our story, please click HERE to be redirected to our Go Fund Me page. Any amount helps!!! THANK YOU!!!!