Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unwavering

In light of all that could capsize me,
I stand firm in a faith that is unwavering.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Profile Book


Switching from an international adoption to a domestic adoption was both intimidating and offered up new terms and necessary documents that seemed completely challenging. The profile book, specifically, was extremely daunting. However, despite this I managed to piece it all together over the course of a day and a half (*note previously mentioned OCD). With the guidance of Shutterfly and by using a hard copy from a fellow adoptive family's personal profile book as a template, it fell into place and we are rather pleased with the end result. To pay it forward for all of the amazing help that we have and continue to receive, I'd like to offer up our book as reference to anyone contemplating or beginning a domestic adoption. Hopefully it will help a little bit!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Birth Mom Scam Update

We just spoke to the agency that 'matched' us to birth mom "L" and they have been investigating this alleged scam. To preface, we have been told that in our agency's 30+ years in uniting families through adoption, this is the only case that has presented such an in depth and calculated level of deception. As it turns out just five days after we originally spoke to "L" on the phone, the day we were matched, she gave birth to a baby in Indiana. We have no idea at this point where the child is and can only pray for 'his' safety and well being. It's been confirmed that "L" has been in and out of jail for crimes we are uncertain of in the recent months and we know that the friend whom was the main contact for "L" has a less than upstanding track record. In summary, we were scammed, our agency was scammed and to say that we are angry could be a massive understatement. More research is being conducted in an attempt to piece together this corrupt puzzle and although it has been painful, we hope that our experiences will help others, prevent similar ordeals and that eventually we will hold our son in our arms indefinitely - which will prove the greatest justice of all.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day





Happy Father's Day to seriously the coolest Dad I know. Our kids are so blessed to have you and I couldn't imagine living without you. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

WE NEED PRAYERS

Update 6/18: We were not chosen but trust that that is because it was not His will...

Here we go again... We were contacted this afternoon by an agency that we sent our profile book to and they have a birth mom, "D," who they will be showing our information to TOMORROW. Baby is due on July 22nd in Utah. Please pray for "D" that the Lord will be present with her as she makes her decision and please pray that if she is going to deliver the baby boy that He has had planned for our family that it will be, without complication or drama, but rather obvious and completely of Him. We are not feeling desperate but are feeling ready and praying that this is our son...

Birth Mom Scam

We thought that an end was in sight to the roller coaster that we have been on for the past two years, however this is not the case. In the last 24 hours we have had moments wherein we literally felt sick to our stomachs, our hearts have been broken, our faith has been on the brink of wavering and then we were restored. There are so many ridiculous details of this scam that to go into them would almost be a complete waste of time and energy.  To rehash it all seems pointless because in the end whats done is done and despite our desires, we cannot go back to change any of it. Our birth mom and her 'friend,' who was known to be a less than upstanding woman from the beginning, took us for a ride scoring about $400 and a month of our time. 

Honestly, AJ and I are not even convinced that our birth mom is who she says she is or that she was ever even pregnant. It doesn't make sense and it builds up anger within us over how someone could be so crass and heartless, but we circle back to the reality that where there is money to be made there are individuals who are willing to do just about anything to get a piece of the action. Adoption, internationally and domestically, is not for the weak. Despite this set back and major emotional blow we are now more determined than ever to get back in the game and bring our son home. Yes, this sucks and we wish it was over! God must have bigger plans. I just pray that our story is about to close with a happy ending because we are ready and have been for some time now. We are preparing to be shown again to new situations with babies due over the summer... Pray with us that these are legit cases and that we will have our baby in our arms soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fortune Cookie

I'm not one for reading too much into a fortune cookie fortune. However,  I must admit that when these little quips appeared inside of the girls and my dessert over lunch, I did feel a little flutter of excitement.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Recital Week



It's recital time and with this comes some crazy chaos. We attended an extensive rehearsal to solidify the tap and ballet routines this evening and then there are three days of performances towards the end of the week. Sophia is a little dancing machine and loves being up on the stage much like her Daddy. We are looking forward to the busyness and to seeing Miss Sophia dance her little heart out.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Makeshift Nursery



It began as an unfinished basement that we sectioned off to construct a recording studio. From there it morphed into a playroom and now it has transitioned into a nursery. This room has seen it all, but the best is yet to come...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Family Illustration

 
I love this drawing. Our family through the eyes of Sophia. Beautiful.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Emotions

As we get closer and closer to our shared due date with birth mom 'L' (just under two weeks but who's counting), I cannot begin to adequately express the feelings that are presenting themselves. Of course, there is excitement to meet the little man who has been on our hearts and minds for almost two years; sometimes fully realized and other times seeming so distant. We are nervous, unsure of what to expect from ourselves emotionally, concerned for 'L' and how she will feel in the moment, anxious about the hospital situation and slightly intimidated to have a newborn baby again - especially since we never imagined we'd parent a 'baby, baby' again. 

It's as if no matter how much we attempt to prepare for what comes next, there is no way to truly 'get ready.' I have begun to pack, bottles are cleaned, diapers and formula are bought, bassinet is set up, funds are in order, accommodations are lined up for the puppies, car seat and stroller are ready to roll and although we hope for some lead time before we need to travel we are expecting to have to hop in the car or on a plane with little to no notice.

As far as we are understanding the process (it's moving so fast so there may very well be some inaccuracies), we will make our way to Kansas where 'L' is giving birth, either we will hopefully spend time together before Andreas is born or after depending on timing. Once in Kansas 'L' has 12-48 hours to finalize her decision and then in that moment we officially become Dre's parents. We have to remain in Kansas for about five days and appear in court to finalize in state and then we are free to leave. However, we cannot return to Wisconsin for approximately seven to ten days due to the Interstate Compact for Placement of Children (ICPC). This leads us to have to decide whether we want to drive to Chicago to wait our our time or take on a little more and travel around a bit. I imagine that a lot of this decision will be determined once Dre is with us and after we realize how truly exhausted we may be.

There are so many emotions and as we attempt to digest them all the date continues to get closer and closer. We are praising God for how miraculous this situation has been, for 'L' and for our son who we cannot wait to love and cherish. Breathing and praying... praying and breathing...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Last Day of School

Sophia is no longer a first grader and Etienne has graduated from kindergarten. Although so excited to watch my babies grow and mature into magnificent little people, it makes my heart sad that they are getting so big. As we end one chapter a new one begins and when you toss summer vacation into the mix I think all will be fine. We'll also be sure to keep in touch with Sophia and T's wonderful teachers over break and visit again next year because they truly are that wonderful.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This is the Final Countdown...

Okay so it is officially June. School ends in a few days. Pool passes have arrived. Sophia is gearing up for her annual end of the year ballet recital and our son is going to be born. I. AM. STILL. IN. AWE. Literally two weeks and two days after we signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants we were matched with a baby boy due at the beginning of summer. The excitement in our home is tangible.

Last Friday evening, the same day we received our blessed 'match' call we were able to also talk to our agency representative and then at 10:30 pm we got to be a part of a conference call with our birth mom. I was going to post about this all sooner but  immediately after we hung the phone up I fell into one of the worst stretches of non-life threatening sicknesses I have ever experienced. After a trip to the ER it was discovered that I had a severe case of strep throat and tonsillitis. Although miserable and frustrating it did provide me with five bed-ridden days to rest and process everything that was and is to be. It's almost as if the past 15 months and then the two weeks getting everything ready for our domestic adoption finally caught up with me and I crashed. At least I crashed with a smile.

The phone call... Birth Mom is a woman of strength, faith and sincere love. She is fully aware that placing her child up for adoption, given her current circumstance, is the best yet most difficult decision she will make in her life. I'm not going to share details of Birth Mom's background, present state, or her plans for the future because it's not our story to discuss. However, I will say that we were expecting an awkward introductory phone call and it was the exact opposite. We were all open, honest, vulnerable and expressed countless times how we are excited and looking forward to meeting one another. It is amazing how when His timing is right everything falls into place without struggle and the blessings that once seemed greater than expected, magnify beyond comprehension. We cannot wait to hug Birth Mom, to get to know her more and to love her. From our perspective, we are not only adding our little baby boy-to-be to our family but we are also hoping to include Birth Mom as well.

So this is it friends... I'm not sure what the next few weeks will look like, but I do know that our son will be born and that we will all be at a hospital in Kansas meeting him for the first time very soon. His due date is June 22nd, Birth Mom thinks he will come sooner... I think we are ready. Oh and I almost forgot, at Birth Mom's last doctor appointment baby measured 7lbs already so we've been told to expect a big baby! Etienne was 8lbs 6oz so little Andreas Lamont Mathis Fink is following in the footsteps of his big brother. As leaked above, we did manage to settle on a name as well... After much deliberation the final decision with significance is: Andreas (Greek/Latin 'Manly, Warrior' - Greek form of Andrew so he's not a junior but is named after his daddy)   Lamont (African American/French 'The Mountain/Mount' - Our prayer through out this adoption process has been for the Lord to move the mountain between us and our baby/babies)   Mathis (French 'Gift of God'). Praying continually for God's will to be done and for us to serve Him through all of this. We are beyond thankful.
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