We celebrated Makayla's 3rd birthday with a HUGE birthday party! It was a blast and she totally loved it.
Makayla cracked us up all year with her witty comments.
Addison just kept growing and growing. She started eating solid foods a lot more this month.
I started a 365 Project...and then quit it.
Went to All Fired Up with some high school friends.
Got a new lens for my camera and fell in love with it! Also, sort of fell in love with photography.
I started making stuff with my awesome sewing machine I got for Christmas 2010.
This is where our world gets ROCKED...
Here are two things that I wrote and have kept private until now. Okay, so the first one (on February 18th) was on my blog, but I took it down.
Feb. 18, 2011
First off, I just need you to know that God is amazing.
I found out some amazing news today. AMAZING. Without going into detail, I just want to say that I am so excited. And this will change our lives forever. Adam and I discussed something today that I have wanted since I was a little girl and I never thought it would be possible.
Yeah, that might be very vague, but I like it that way.
I am excited.
This is the start of our adoption process!! It was an amazing story and that's where the next part I wrote comes in...
Feb. 21, 2011
For the past month (at least), I have had this nagging feeling that our family is not complete. When everyone is awake, I constantly feel like someone is missing. I look around in earnest for my third child. I can't explain it, but I've had this longing for another child and it is otherworldly.
Also, in the past couple weeks, I have been feeling led towards adoption. It might sound crazy, but I have thought about it daily for the last two weeks, literally. I didn't do any research or anything, but there was always this feeling inside me and the constant thought of adopting in my head.
I have also wanted to adopt a child ever since I can remember. I don't remember what age I first thought I wanted to adopt, but I knew I wanted to be a mother to someone who didn't have a mother.
Fast forward to February 18th, 2011, Adam and I are driving back from getting some Chipotle for dinner. We're talking about our friends from church who are adopting their foster child that has been in their care for two years. And somehow, Adam says that he would be open to adopting. I FREAKED, to say the least. I was so excited! I just stared at him and said, "Are you serious right now? I have wanted to adopt since I was little, but I didn't say anything to you because I didn't think it was an option!!" And there was more conversation about it, things I can't even remember, from the pure joy I felt at that moment. I was and still am ecstatic.
Since that night, I have done nothing but research adoption. I've been looking at agencies online, waiting for brochures to come in the mail, talking about it CONSTANTLY with Adam. I am so very, very serious about this. It has been my heart's desire for so long and I am so close, I can feel it!
Just today, I was talking to Adam about it (again!) and I told him that this will not go away. This is not a fleeting thing (like most things I want to do are) for me. This is real. Then I started crying and told him I can't go on and do nothing knowing what I know now.
So, what's next? Well, we need money. It costs around $30,000 to adopt a child from Ethiopia. We aren't positive that this is where we are called to adopt from, but we are definitely leaning towards Ethiopia. We still need to pray about that.
I was Skyping with Korinne today and I told her (yep, before anyone else) that we were going to adopt and then she asked me why we were going international instead of staying in the United States. My response? There are 5 million orphans in Ethiopia alone. There are 157,000 in America and also, in America there are foster homes. There are no foster homes in other countries. They stay in orphanages until forever, if they aren't adopted.
I want to change a life. Not to show that I am better than anyone or anything like that. I want to be a mother to someone that has no one else. I want to love a child and bring them into my forever home. It is my heart.
Then when I was Skyping with Korinne and telling her about the money sitch and how Adam wants to wait until our California house is taken care of (totally legitimate concern), I just said that I'm not even worried about how we will get the money. Right now, we have $600 in checking and NOTHING in savings. We are about to build a house and we honestly have no money. But, I KNOW that our God is bigger than that. If He wants us to adopt, He will provide the money. No matter how much we have saved (or not!) before we start the process. God will provide so that His child can come home and that I know is true. God won't abandon his children. If we start down this path he WILL provide us with the money to adopt because he won't let his children suffer.
So, that's where we are right now. At the very beginning of all of this. Only God knows who our child will be and when we will begin the adoption process. I know my heart and my home are ready now, but we must wait on the Lord and I am okay with that, though my flesh may want more now...
If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?
Wow, those are some raw emotions right there. All of that stuff was true back then and it's still true today. It's amazing to see how God planted this itty bitty seed and has just made it grow and grow. I have no idea where I would be right now if God didn't change my heart and make me aware of the orphans in Ethiopia. I am beyond thankful. To Him be the glory...
Our house started getting built! I pretty much came to our site every single day. It was an awesome process to watch unfold.
Watched our friends' child get adopted into their family. It was a very moving experience and I am so thankful that we got to be a part of it.
Got our passports this month! Wahoo! We also got pre-approved with AWAA on March 30th!
Told my family about our plans to adopt. It felt SO good to not have to sneak around anymore. :)
We got accepted into AWAA's Ethiopia program on April 7th! It was an amazing feeling, let me tell you!
We announced our adoption on Facebook with a super cute video of Makayla and Addison. I'm so happy we did that. :D
Well a lot of adoption related stuff happened this month. You can see more about it here. It was a pretty big month for us!!
Adam and I both turned 27. Eeeep!
We also celebrated six years of wedded bliss on May 7th! We went to Empress Taytu in Cleveland to celebrate our special day. It was amazing.
We also got our birth certificates, marriage certificate, physicals, application letter, employment/non-employment letters and sent in our home study agreement! Woo! We were busy and up to our ears in paperwork!
We had our first home study orientation meeting, too. It's really happening!!
Had a HUGE garage sale fundraiser for our adoption and raised some serious money! YES!
FINALLY got our adoption shirts done!
Did even more paperwork for our adoption...on top of these two HUGE things that happened...
Our Addi girl turned 1!! So big! :) We had a family only party for her and she loved it.
We moved into our brand new house!! How fun is that?!
Go to Part 2.