Saturday, March 26, 2011

March 26, 2011

Well hello everyone!! It's been a few weeks since I've updated, but that's because we haven't heard anything yet. We should be getting a call from Gladney next week. As I mentioned before, she wanted to give KC one month at his new job to see what he'd be making so Gladney would have a better idea of our annual income. Well, KC has 2 people lined up to go to orientation on Monday. If they show up, he'll get paid. So, we're praying they show up! After that, we'll have a bit of an idea of what his monthly salary will be, and Gladney will be able to give us our next step in this process. As soon as we get a call, we'll let you know.

Now on to what else is going on with our family. We're waiting to see if Caedmon will get to go to the pre-k at Elmdale Elementary - the elementary school KC and I went to. We'll know more about that on Monday. The boys are getting so big and each have their own personalities! It's so funny, because now Oliver will fight/argue back with Caed when Caed starts picking on him. We're already having to break up fights in the van! Yesterday, Caed was teasing Ollie, so I told them both to look out their own window. Caed would look over at Ollie and make a funny face and Ollie would yell "CAED! WIN-OW! NOW!" lol. So, I had to tell Caed to look out his window and tell Ollie that I would talk to Caed. Ollie said "Ok. Sowee". Lol. KC and I were laughing so hard! It has begun.  ;-)

KC and I's anniversary is coming up in two weeks!! On April 8th, we'll be married for 5 years! In some ways it seems longer, and in others, it seems shorter. If that makes any sense. haha. I can't believe where we're at 5 years later: two rambunctious boys AND dogs, KC working from home, and we're on the path to adoption.  :)  I can honestly say, I never imagined this. But I wouldn't change where we're at or what we went through to get to this point. When you go through a rough spot in your life, you can either have pity on yourself and question God, or, you can thank God for the things that make you stronger and wiser. We're both after all the things we've gone through. And I thank God that He knew that we would come out of those things on top. I'm not saying it wasn't hard, but knowing we can make it through and that God will be on our side will make all the other trials that will come our way much easier. Just because we're riding the top of the wave now, doesn't mean that we won't go under again. We're just better equipped to handle it. That's why all the preachers tell you to keep up with your prayer life. You pray hard when you're going through a trial, but taper off when the skies become sunny again. Then, when another trial hits, you're unprepared. If you stay prayed up, through the good AND the bad, it'll make it easier to go through the bad and you'll even learn a lesson or two through it. You'll know that God is still taking care of you and that through Him, YOU CAN MAKE IT! I'm doing my best to continue in my fervent prayers that I made when life was tough. It's hard, but well worth it.  :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 15, 2011

Well, I really don't have any updates yet. We're working on getting some paperwork that I know we'll need for the homestudy. We are supposed to get a call from Gladney in the next week or so to find out our next step. But in the meantime, I've done something that most people probably wouldn't recommend. Haha. I bought Santi her first outfit. Gosh, it seems so much more real now... using her name, buying her an outfit... calling her "our daughter". I was at Gap the other day getting a pair of khaki's, when I saw the most adorable tutu/skirt. I so wanted to buy it, but resisted. Well, yesterday I went back to buy it because I told myself it wouldn't be there in a few months. I reasoned, justified, and bought. Lol. And not just the skirt either - I bought a top and a blue jean jumper. I'll post them below. I told KC that this could get very addicting! Haha. But I am doing my best to refrain from buying anything else. For now, the outfit will hang on a special hanger in my closet so I will see it everyday. It will be a constant reminder that somewhere in Ethiopia, God has our daughter waiting for us. I'll pray for her everyday - that she's safe, happy and that she knows that somewhere, someone loves her tremendously. I don't know how old she is, or if she's even been born yet. But I do know that she's ours. I'll pray that the annointing that is on her brother's lives will also be on hers. I have not even met her and I already love her with all my heart - with the same love I have for Caedmon and Oliver. She is our little girl. Not born out of my womb, but out of my heart.

As soon as we hear anything else from Gladney, I'll be sure to post it as soon as I can. I'm excited about this journey as I'm sure many of you are as well. Anyway, enough mushy talk: Here's the cute clothes!!  :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Some News...

Well, we received some, well, interesting news concerning Ethiopian adoption. After talking with a few couples from church, we found out that Ethiopia is cutting their foreign adoptions from 50 a day to only 5. !!!! They are doing this in an effort to weed out any "unscrupulous" behavior/practices. This is good in the sense that they are doing all they can to make sure the adoption is legal in every sense and that no one was coerced into anything. On the other hand, it's bad because there are millions of orphans waiting for their "forever home". So, this is something that could delay an already lengthy process. And since we are just in the beginning stages, it could mean a very long wait. But KC and I are not worrying nor are we dwelling on this. God told us we were going to adopt from Ethiopia and that is exactly what we are going to do. He will either teach us to have extraordinary patience, or He will show out. I am content to accept whichever path He will have us go down. It could be very easy to let this dishearten us, to let the enemy creep in and tell us that this is unattainable; but God has blessed us in so many ways, it's impossible not to trust in Him and the promises He's made us. So, I am going to do my best to fill my time with productive things and to not dwell on the things that may look like set-backs. As someone from church said, "Every delay, every bump, every snaggle in the process is ordained by God. We're following His timeline; not ours." I would wait forever to make sure that she was the one God chose US for.  

Here is a link to an article about Ethiopia cutting back on foreign adoptions:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nothing Much

Well, I know it's been a few days since I've posted anything, but adoption-wise, not much has happened. Life has been busy with work, church and family - so I took this past Monday off and Caed skipped pre-k and the 4 of us went to the Tulsa Zoo. It was a blast and a much needed day of "us time". The boys loved it! There were only 4 other groups there, so it was like we had the whole place to ourselves. The animals came up to us and the boys were delighted that they got a closer look. The zebras were the best. The came right up to the rocks around the fence, then darted away and cam back. They were playing with us! Everyone needs to play hookie now and again; it's good for the soul.  ;-) 

I've been doing a lot of adoption fundraising research. So far, the one I'm most excited about is making rag dolls to sell. I need to brush up on my sewing skills though. Lol. The idea came after a trip to Target. I was on my lunch break browsing the toy aisle and decided to go down the doll aisle... something I don't get to do since I have boys. haha! And I noticed that there in that entire aisle stuffed with dolls, there was only one doll that was not white. And that was the new Disney Princess Tatianna (I think that's her name). Now, that is not something that I would have noticed before, but as we are in the process of adopting a little girl that has a darker skin color, I was amazed. I didn't see any other ethnicity of dolls either: Latin, Asian, etc. I've seen old rag dolls at antique stores and such and always fell in love with them. So, I am going to attempt to create one to see if I'm able to create more than one. Lol. My guinea pig. I hope they turn out as I'm imagining in my head... so let's pray I can find some sewing videos on YouTube or such to refresh my memory.

Like I said, not much to update anyone on concerning the adoption. Gladney is supposed to call us back in the next week or so to get the ball rolling on the homestudy. As soon as we hear from them you can bet we'll let you all know.  :)

Oh, and I thought I'd share a picture from our zoo trip:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

And her name shall be....

So KC and I have really been praying about a name for our daughter. Do we keep the one she has? Or maybe use it as a middle name? We had thought about the name Acacia since that is the word God used to reveal to us that we would adopt from Ethiopia, and we thought about Emiliana and call her Milly (not Miley). I was really leaning towards the latter. I just thought it was so cute! But at the beginning of this journey, KC told me that the name Santi came to his mind. We were unsure of the meaning but decided to look into it. Well, that didn't happen so much, since we really liked the other names. Then we found out it means 'Saint' or 'holy'. Well, that was a better meaning than 'thorny bush' or 'to strive' for Acacia and Emiliana respectively. We continued praying and KC called me at work on Thursday and told me her name needs to be Santi. As soon as he said that, I felt a stirring in my spirit. I knew that was the name God wanted us to give her. But.... MILLY IS SUCH AN ADORABLE NAME! And I've liked it for so long! Lol. I wanted to fight it, and even told KC my feelings. But, like I said, I felt in my spirit that this was her name. So I did more research to find meanings, origins, etc. It does mean 'Saint' or 'holy' in Spanish, but it also means 'peace' in Sanskrit. So, that was the clencher. Peace. It's a better meaning than Strive. I think it suits her better, wherever she is. And once we find out what her name is right now, that one will likely be her second middle name. She will also have my middle name as her first middle name. I think it will be an awesome way to connect her to us, giving her part of my name. So,when that day finally comes, our daughter will be forever known as:

Santi Raquel _(current name)_ Collins

If we kept her name just Santi Raquel Collins, she'd have my same initials too! SRC. As you can tell, it's the little things that excite me. I know we are just barely starting out in this process, but I am already so eager to have her home with us. The temptation to buy girlie things is almost unbearable. But that time will come soon. I just got my Adoptive Families magazine and they had the results of the 2010 Cost & Timing Survey... The  second highest percentage of people adopting from Ethiopia had their referral within 6 months of the starting point. The highest percentage had their referral within one year of starting... I really hope ours comes within the first 6 months. Lol.  :D

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm a little...... nervous??

As excited as I am that God has allowed us to start the adoption process, I must admit that I'm nervous about adopting "outside our race". I've been trying to read everything I can on trans-racial adoption, yet I'm still terrified. When KC told me he felt God was leading us toward Africa, I truly thought he was joking. Am I capable of mothering someone who doesn't have the same skin tone as me. Does it make me awful for admitting my fears?? What if she's unhappy with "white" parents, what if she's not around enough people who look like her, what if I can't fix her hair correctly and I'm deemed unfit by others of her skin tone?? ALL of these thoughts and more have been frequenting my mind lately. I know it's the enemy creeping in trying to fill me with doubt, but to be honest, I wonder how much he's put in there and how much was already there. I'm also worried about the fact that she won't be able to hide the fact that she is adopted. That everyone will constantly stare and wonder if she's ours, or maybe a friend's child. I'm wondering how they'll react when they find out: "Oh, you're such great people from adopting over there!" or "WHY ON EARTH DID YOU ADOPT FROM OVER THERE??" And most importantly, I'm wondering how we'll handle the first inappropriate comment said to her. My sisters and I have dealt with our fair share of racist comments living in the ghetto of Kansas City, MO. We weren't white, and we weren't Mexican. We were half-breeds. This is something that no parent wants to hear when they ask their child, 'How was your day at school sweetheart?' Whether we like it or not, racism is still out there. How will others of her skin tone feel when they see us out with her? This is something that I have been praying to God to help me with. I just want to be her mother. I don't want to be seen as this white lady with an African baby on her hip trying to be an "Angelina Jolie do-gooder" (lol). I don't want to have to worry about other people's thoughts or opinions; or worry if I'm fixing her hair correctly. I want to know without a doubt that I'm being the best mother I can be. So, I'm placing all of my worry, concern and fear in His hands. But I'm not going to go into this blindly. I will do all I can to make sure we are doing our part in raising her with her heritage in mind. That is something that will definitely need His help.  :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rest for our soul

So, as I was listening to Robert Morris speak at KPC last night, he had a moment where he briefly mentioned the Mary and Martha story. We've all heard it. Mary sat at Christs feet while Martha was bustling around the house trying to get things in order. Mary realized "the art of the pause". She knew she had to take time away from her "womanly duties" and just sit with Him. She knew she needed rest that only He can give: rest for the soul. I think as women (even men too) we get too caught up in our day to day and forget to stop and just be. We rest our bodies at night by sleeping, although I'm sure most of us don't get near the required 8-10 hours. Lol. But what are we doing for our souls? Are we taking time out of our day to allow Him to renew us? Probably not. I'll be transparent with you... I'm not - not nearly as often as I should. How many times have we said, 'Gosh, Lord, I'm just so busy I feel like I don't have the time for quiet time'. I know it's one of my frequent phrases during my short prayer times. In Matthew 11:28 He says: "Come to me, all of you who are weary.... and I will give you rest" (NLT). That isn't talking about physical rest, but a spiritual one. How many of you feel your spirit weighted down with worry, doubt or fear. I know I do. But Philippians 4:8 says "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about anything. Tell God what you need..." What we need is rest. We need Him to refresh our spirits. If we refresh our spirits, our bodies will feel it. Our next step is slowing down physically... but lets take baby steps shall we? Lol.