Monday, October 31, 2011

Mom-To-Be Training Week

Last week, I spent five days in Charlotte with my mom, caring for my sister's two sweet kids while she and her husband went on a well-deserved vacation. Beau is 9 months old, and Hannah Beth is almost 2 and a half (and mostly potty trained- yay!).

Being a mom-to-be, I volunteered for the night shift each night with Beau- who still wakes up 2-4 times a night! He is so active and hates missing out on anything- he's always wanting to play or be snuggled!

Little Hannah Beth is so funny! She has the sweetest giggle and called me 'Bekah Bear" all week. She was a great helper around the house and would feed Beau snacks in the backseat when we were driving! It was so fun to see her "big sis" personality shine as she kept all of us in line.

These kids were so fun, exhausting, sweet, and playful. It was a rewarding five days, but I'm glad to be back home with Will!

I definitely learned a lot during my time caring for two small children. It is a LOT of work to stay organized and prepared for whatever may happen. It is no easy feat to go to the grocery store or even to get out of the house to the park. I will say, one of the hardest parts was also one of my favorites- waking up multiple times in the middle of the night to feed and rock Beau was a memory I will love. I was sitting there rocking him and wondering where my little one was, who was rocking him, and how old he'll be when I'll finally get to hold our baby! (I'm assuming it's a he now, ha.)

So after a week of watching small children, I'm ready! Tired, but ready! I think I have a better idea of the chaos that is parenting small children, and I'm excited to join the mommy club one day... soon please, Lord!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Highs and Lows

It's been a week since I've blogged, so how about a little "highs" and "lows" recap?

High Point:
-Had dinner with two other local AGCI Ethiopia families, both on the waitlist for sweet kids from Hannah's Hope. It was great connecting with other adoptive families and seeing the blessing of an adoption community. We thought we'd lost that when we moved, and the Lord provided that for us again. So good!

 Low Point:
-Almost caught the kitchen on fire the other day. No lie, I left the room for less than a minute and returned to see my pot of boiling water ON FIRE! I'm talking flames, people. Thankfully nothing else caught fire and I'm just down an old Chefmate pot. I'm still finding floating bits of ash around the kitchen.

High Point:
-I have found a few ways to make myself distracted. I have enjoyed the company of several friends, and even started volunteering at a local non-profit. Yay for distractions! Yay for our incredible library! Yay for finally finishing the curtains in the kitchen!

Low Point:
-Every single day, I imagine how the day would look different if we got the referral that day. Every time I meet with someone or have a plan, I preface the time with "if I get a phone call I have to go." After doing this for, uh, 3 weeks straight... it gets a little exhausting. Some days are better, and some days it is really hard.

High Point:
-I was able to talk to a precious friend in NC last week, who brought home a Hannah's Hope baby this summer. Her family sat at #1 for 9 weeks last winter, and she had some great encouragement for me in the waiting season.

Low Point:
-Not being able to sleep at night because I can't control my roaming mind, and not being able to nap because I fear missing a phone call.

High Point:
-Being able to share with new people about our adoption process and having people be excited about it with us. Being able to easily share the gospel because adoption is such a clear picture of it.

High Point:
-Having scripture that testifies of God's goodness and faithfulness. Knowing that truly, His plans are best and His timing is right.

High Point:
-Lots of good news came out of Ethiopia in the last week. Families passing court while they were there (this is huge!) and embassy news. Praise God for movement and for children coming home to forever families soon!

High Point:
-Being in Jacksonville. It's hard to be away from the community we had, but God is so faithful and we are seeing His fruit here in awesome ways. This will be a great place to bring our baby home to.

High Point:
-When you have salvation in Christ, the high points always, always outweigh the low points.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When You Want a Baby but Don't Have One

If you didn't know already, infertility didn't have a role in our journey to adopt. We never went though the agony of waiting each month for a positive pregnancy test, but I think I'm beginning to understand what that may be like. You see, for the past two + weeks, every day I have woken up thinking that "this is the day!" and it hasn't happened. And for the record, we're 19 months into this adoption process, not that we're counting, right? So that is 19 months of dreaming about a sweet baby, anticipating a special phone call that announces us parents, and writing the words "REFERRAL" on our facebook pages and blog.

But I have got to take captive my thoughts. I cannot focus on what I don't have. I cannot dream about the time when I'll be a mom and miss this time that I'm not one. I cannot wallow in a pity party of things that the Lord has not given me yet.

Today Will played a game with me. He came in, saw that I was disappointed in another day passing, and  redirected my thoughts. He said, "What is true?" And I had to go through all the things I knew to be true. God is good. He is faithful. He loves me. He loves our baby more than I do. He has greater plans that we know. His desire is for orphans to have families. He withholds no good things from His children. He is close to the brokenhearted and comforts us.
So that's what I'm choosing to do- focus on what is true. Because focusing on timelines, guessing the timing of our referral, being frustrated with the process- those are not bringing me to Truth. Keep me accountable and cover us in prayer- we need the Lord's grace to do this.

Monday, October 10, 2011

God's Will for Your Wait

A few weeks ago, my bff Leigh shared this blog post with me. PLEASE read it. It is about God's will for your wait. You may not be waiting on anything right now but I'm sure someone you know is.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ordinary Hero Grant Opportunity

Here's the deal, one of our fundraising opportunities is through Ordinary Hero, an awesome ministry that ministers to orphans in various places. They have some super cool stuff (and their shirts are SO comfy!) - you can buy and we benefit from! You see, we're in the TOP 10 for a possible grant of $1,000! The deadline is Sunday at midnight before the top 3 sellers get the grant money!

So if you are able to and interested, consider shopping at Ordinary Hero. When you go to the shopping cart, check "Will & Rebekah McGee" as affiliates- and we'll get the credit towards the grant & a large percentage of profits!

You rock! Thanks so much for your support and helping us spread the word!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Monthly Check-In Call

Tonight we got our call from a case manager at our agency (not our "B"- our case manager is out right now) for our monthly check in call.

We went over a few things: that the communication schedule with AGCI will change for waitlist families (and the AGCI representative said that she didn't think we would be affected by this because we will no longer be a waitlist family soon! yay!); our referral could come at any time, and there is no way to tell when the children will come in and are ready to be referred; and what the process of getting our new FDL updated looks like (since we moved, etc).

I walked away from the conversation encouraged that our waitlist time is coming to a close and hopefully soon we'll have a baby to be praying for by name and face. I love every single one of the AGCI people we have talked with- they are such an amazing staff and we're so, so glad we used them for our adoption!!!

So now that our monthly check-in call is over, the NEXT CALL we get from our agency should be a REFERRAL!!!! Honestly, I'm doing so much better this week than last week. I so appreciate your prayers; know that they are making a difference and the Lord has given me a peace that only comes from Him. I am trying to stay distracted and not focused on my phone or that the timing of our referral would be perfect in whatever moment I'm in. The Lord is so good, so faithful.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Homestudy Approved

Although our homestudy draft has been at AGCI for a few weeks (thus clearing us for a referral because all they needed to see was that our home passed inspection) - today we heard that (after a few revisions, of course) our homestudy is officially done and approved.

Now we have to send it off to get our new FDL, and since we're about 3 months away from our USCIS fingerprints expiring, we have to get those fingerprints redone now too. It's one thing after another with this paperwork!

Still no news on a baby. Our case manager's mother passed away last week from cancer, and we're keeping "B" in our prayers. I can't imagine going back to work after such a loss. I'm not sure when exactly she's going back, and I am sure things at AGCI will be a little chaotic for a while.

In the last few days we have reason to rejoice with other AGCI families- several court dates and referrals have happened, which is always exciting! I hope we can join in with good news of our own soon!
There was an error in this gadget