Sunday, December 22, 2013

Here we go again...

What the world needs is another blog post about Phil Robertson. Said NO ONE. EVER.

I'll admit it, I spent way too much time last week reading points of view on Robertson's comments and have had more than enough.  It's a shame to see the ugliness of so many come out on both sides. I'm most concerned by the vicious commentary coming from many Christians at a time when we are supposed to be joyfully celebrating the birth of our Savior.  We are supposed to focused on the light of the world, and this, in my opinion, has unfortunately been a dark week.

I digress.  That's the last you'll hear from me on an issue that has consumed far too much of my time, the headlines, and the multitudes of social media feeds.

I'll instead write about something far more interesting and important, at least to me - there's a good chance that our second little one is somewhere in Africa, unaware that we exist, but God is preparing us for each other. 

I guess our little teaser at the end of our previous post worked! Evidently, our reference to #2 in this post didn't! :-)

So, YES, we've begun the process for #2.  When we started the process to adopt Bailey, we knew we wouldn't be "one and done".  We didn't/don't know how many we will eventually adopt. There are of course the "real life" realities and constraints to consider.  But we also know confidently that God has called us to build our family through adoption, and we're trusting that He'll provide for us to continue adopting.

Many have been surprised that we're beginning the process already.  The human, overly cautious, hyper-organized planner in me agrees! I've only got 11 months of parenting under my belt!  I have plenty of justifications on why we should wait a while longer.  But one night I was thinking about this and I felt God saying something like this to me:

"I've got your back. Sure, there will always be reasons to wait.  But I've called you to build your family.  So why wait?  Make yourselves available to these kids that are so precious to Me."

So that's what we're doing. It scares the heck out of me, but I'm going into this with the best partner who so seamlessly holds us together.

As we get started, there's a little bit that we know, and a whole lot that we don't know.

What We Know:

  • We'd love to adopt from DR Congo again and have our children share their birth country and culture.  I know that Jenny and I were both forever changed by our trip there last January and know that that wasn't our last visit.  
  • We're so glad we have a little one here that we get to love on as we begin the second process.  I don't miss the waiting process and how painful it was at times.  And this is coming from the one of us that is a professional compartmentalizer. :-)
  • Adoption is still expensive and unfortunately, not immune to inflation. $45-50k is our expected bill, including travel.
  • We've begun our home study process for #2.  Yep, still a ridiculous amount of paperwork, including each of us having to write autobiographies.  That was a treat.  All the emotions came flooding back from the last time we did this - how many kids do you have to adopt before it gets easier to accept that a social worker, all of our doctors, my HR rep, tax guy, health insurance representative, local police department and notary are all required to expand our family???  We have our final home study visit for Bailey next week as well as our first visit for round 2 coming up just after the New Year. 
  • We're really excited about bringing home a sibling/siblings for Bailey!!!

What we don't know:
  • We don't know if we'll adopt another infant or an older, waiting child.  It'll largely depend on what our social worker approves us for and what we feel Bailey would do best with.
  • We don't know what age our child will be, although we're open to a child that's a bit older.
  • We don't know what gender, though we're leaning towards another girl if it's an older child.         
  • We don't know if we'll adopt a single child or siblings.  We've been praying for guidance in this area specifically, especially as it relates to Bailey. 
  • The adoption situation in DR Congo is very concerning right now, as the DRC authorities (DGM) put in place a suspension of all exit letters for adopted children this past September and said it could be for up to a year.  
  • We don't know what agency we'll work with beyond the home study.  It will largely depend on if we adopt a waiting child, whether DRC opens up again, and other factors.   
  • We don't know the timing of the process, especially if the DRC continues to suspend the issuance of exit letters.
  • If it remains closed for a long time, we may consider other countries in Africa.
  • We don't know how we're going to cover the adoption expenses, but we're excited to see how God provides.  We'll share more later about fundraisers and other ways to support us if you're interested.  Until then, there's the always convenient PayPal link in the right sidebar!

Prayer requests:
  • For the families that are currently in DRC or have had to recently leave their children behind, due to the situation with DGM.
  • For baby Imara, that she will be able to be issued an exit letter to receive life-saving medical treatment in the US.
  • For DGM, that they will make whatever changes they deem necessary to ensure that their children are going to loving homes and being adopted through legal means.
  • For discernment for us in choosing an agency and for wisdom and patience to know when the time is right to do this.
  • And lastly, that God will start preparing our hearts and Bailey's for a new addition (or two!).  

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Going Under

One way to cure writer's block - watch your child go under anesthesia.  We had to take Bailey in for a small endoscopic procedure that required her to go under so that the doctor could insert a tube into her intestine so they could take some biopsies. This is the latest attempt in trying to diagnose Bailey's stomach issues.  

Watching the process of Bailey going from awake and alert to out cold was quick, but watching her eyes roll back was something I'd prefer not to see.  

And unfortunately, the process of gaining consciousness and coherency didn't go as nicely as, say, this guy:

Sure, there were tears, but A LOT more screaming. Never thought I'd hear a nurse explain the behavior was as if my 22-month-old just had her first drink. I guess Bailey's a sad, angry drunk!!

Bailey did great, all things considered.  Hopefully that's the last hospital visit of the year!

A lot has happened since our last post.  Halloween and Thanksgiving have come and gone, and we're bearing down on Christmas. College football and the NFL seasons are winding down. It's been so fun to enjoy these moments with Bailey. She LOVES Christmas lights, our Christmas tree, her nativity, Santa,  and the other things that go along with Christmas.  It's pretty cool to have a child who can verbalize her excitement as she experiences these seasons for the first time.  

Here are some pictures:

Touchdown!! Sadly, Bailey didn't get to celebrate too many of these for the Trojans this year...

Bailey's first Halloween - Cookie Monster!

And her sidekick Oscar!

Bailey's first picture with Santa - she's not impressed!

I sound like a broken record but it is ridiculous how quickly Bailey grows.  When I'm gone for even just a day or two, it seems like she grows so much. She is in full-blown mimic's getting more and more dangerous for me to have her in the car with me. Thankfully the worst she's picked up so far: darn, shoot, and geez!

Bailey helping me work

Bailey loves orange wedges!

Thanks for the crown Uncle Danny!

Bailey and her buddy Sully! Not sure why he's in Abby's crate...

This look gives me chills.  I hope I never see this one again. Brrr...

More to come soon on adoption #2!!