Tuesday, December 29, 2009

REFERRAL!!!!!

Today was THE day. THE call. It was THE day our lives changed. Today we saw the face of our sweet daughter. She is precious and we love her. She is two months old and is described as “a tiny bundle of sweetness!” We can’t post any pictures or her name online, until we pass court. Trust me, she is adorable. Her name begins with an M.

The feeling is surreal. It doesn’t feel like it has really sunk in. We decided to change our referral request from two children to an infant girl the week of Thanksgiving. She was brought to the orphanage on November 26, Thanksgiving Day. As we were thinking about the future of our family and making some big decisions, her birth mother made a very big decision too. We feel God’s hand in all of this and we feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be able to call little Miss M. our daughter.

We will now wait for a court date, which can take one to three months. After we pass court, which might not happen on the first try, we will travel within 2-5 weeks to pick her up. We hope to be holding her and kissing her squishy cheeks within 3-6 months!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Grandy

My life changed this weekend. My Grandy went to be with Jesus on Friday, December 11 at 10:30 pm. My life will never be the same without him in it. He was an incredible man who loved the Lord and adored his family. He was precious. My mom describes her daddy as generous. He was generous with his time, his money, with everything. I think that really sums him up. I don’t think I will ever know a more generous person.

He was born in 1919 and he and my grandmother were married for almost 66 years. He spent his entire marriage putting her first. He had a passion for children and orphans. He worked for the Baptist General Convention in the Department of Child Care. He made sure that Oklahoma Baptist children were taken care of.

I have always felt that our adoption is a great fit for our family, because of his great work for the betterment of the lives of children and orphans. I wanted so desperately to be able to tell him he was a great-grandfather. I wanted to see him play with our daughter and see the huge smile on his face as he held her. He had a great laugh and I wanted to hear him laugh with delight as she entertained him. Unfortunately, these things will never happen.

He spent six days lying in his nursing home bed, slowly dying. We knew it was going to happen. He had a stroke on Sunday and they were unable to give him any food or water after Monday morning. He slept most of the week, but would open his eyes on occasion. During one of those moments, when I was all alone with him, I told him of his great-granddaughter in Ethiopia. I told him that we didn’t know who she was yet, but that he was a great-grandfather already.

My Grandy’s legacy will live on. He has impacted the lives of thousands of people and those people will carry on his legacy, his work, his love, his generosity and his patience. He made the world a better place. All you have to do is ask any of the people whose life he made better. They will tell you stories of Judson Cook and how their life wouldn’t be the same without him.

As sad as I am, this is a happy day. He is celebrating in Heaven with his family. He was the last of nine brothers and sisters to pass away. His father died when he was nine years old. The family is finally back together. When I told this to one of my 16 year old students she said, “So, it’s beautiful.” She said it perfectly. It is BEAUTIFUL.

My uncle wrote the obituary, which is very personal and highlights his life and work. I would love for everyone to read it and learn more about the work of my Grandy. Click here to read his obituary.





My Grandy hugging me at my wedding 6.5 years ago.














Another picture from my wedding, which I just love.











Tuesday, December 1, 2009

a change

When we decided to adopt siblings we had so many specific reasons for choosing that path. Reasons that we felt very good and confident about. We have spent the last ten months imagining what it will be like to have our children home. We have imagined playing with them, feeding them yummy meals, reading to them, tucking them in at night, cuddling with them, and so many other things. This dream made the reality hard. The reality was…we needed to change our referral request. We changed it from our original request for two children between the ages of 0-39 months, to a girl between 0-12 months. We didn’t change because we were tired of waiting. Yes, we have been on the waiting list for almost 45 weeks, but the waiting had absolutely nothing to do with the change we had to make. We had to make the decision based on what was best for our family. We had to look at the big picture and imagine what our lives would be like if we instantly became parents to two children who would need so much of our attention. We had to put our strong desires to adopt two children aside and do what was best for our child. Our child. Not children. Even though this change feels a little bit like the end of a dream, we are very excited to find out who our daughter is and start our family together. We know that she will have a sibling someday, just not today.

I want to say big thank you to everyone who has been posting words of encouragement and letting us know you have been praying for us. We really appreciate it. It has been about three months since I blogged, but that’s really nothing new! I am hoping to have some exciting things to blog about very soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

vintage finds

A few weeks ago I was spending a leisurely Saturday morning visiting estate sales in search of office furniture and wall d├ęcor for our businesses new location. I happened to stumble upon some cute vintage items for our babes.

The first is a Fisher Price magnetic letter tray. I remember playing with one of these when I was little, so I love the idea of our kids doing the same.


I also stumbled upon some brightly colored cafeteria trays. My sister told me a few months ago that she thought it would be cute to serve lunch to our kiddos on trays like these. So when I saw these for 50 cents each, I got ten! I will be able to use them when my nieces and nephews come over too.





We have now been on the waiting list for 32 weeks. There is only one family waiting for siblings in front of us on the unofficial list. The clock is tickin’. We could get our referral anytime…..or it could still be months. There is no way of knowing. I am excited for the families who have recently received referrals and can’t wait to find out about our children.


Monday, June 29, 2009

renew me

It is time.....to renew expired documents. Boo. I got an email from Judy, with Gladney, that it was time to get our OK Criminal and Child Abuse clearances updated. After doing a little investigating I realized we also have to have our medical forms and our home study updated. I fear that with this updated home study comes more paperwork and notarizing everything over again. We will see. I emailed our caseworker today, so I will wait for the details.

I realize it has been a long time since I blogged (surprise, surprise). Yes, Heidi, it does seem like we went on spring break and never came back. The last time I blogged we had been on the waiting list for 8 weeks. We having now been waiting for over 22 weeks, or over 5 months. On the unofficial list, there are thirteen families ahead of us, with two of those families also waiting for siblings in an age range close to ours. I am sure we still have many more weeks (or months) of waiting, but it is exciting and a little scary to see our name rise on the list.

Friday, March 20, 2009

eight

So, it is spring break, which means a week off from teaching. I love my students, but a break is always welcome. I have been doing a little bit of work around the house. The closet in our office (what will be our children’s room) is FULL. I have slowly been trying to get rid of things or move items to other places in our house. I took a ‘before’ picture, but I don’t want to post it until I can take a beautiful ‘after’ pic. I can’t wait to see the closet filled with adorable little clothes for our precious Ethiopian babes. We also worked in our garage and got things organized. I now have eight tubs of costumes to wash and sort. There are at least ten more tubs in storage, which will also need the same treatment. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, was our ‘dating anniversary’. We started dating eight years ago during my senior year of college. We went to Olive Garden for some yummy salad, breadsticks and spaghetti! It is hard to believe my husband has put up with me for eight years!

Speaking of ‘eight’, today marks our eighth week on the waiting list. I have spent the week obsessing over the FBI list. For those of you not in the Gladney adoption circle, the FBI list is the “Forensic Blogging Initiative”. It was started to track the process of families, from those on the waiting list to forever families. It is not sponsored by Gladney and only represents 50%-75% of the families. I have been analyzing the list from every angle. Really, the entire process in unpredictable and there is no equation I can create to determine the exact moment of our referral, but it is fun to play with. There have already been nine referrals this month! I am so excited and happy for those nine families!

Monday, February 9, 2009

2 weeks waiting

So, we have now been on the waiting list for over two weeks. I took a “1 Week Waiting” pic, but never got it posted. For the last two weeks I have had a “death virus”, as Michael has termed it. Luckily we had an ice storm that shut the schools down for three days, which enabled us to cancel our classes also. It was nice to stay home and not have to teach. This past week we had auditions for our spring musical and then had the extremely difficult job of casting. It is never fun to hold the emotions of children in your hand. We make some kids so happy and others so sad. We have 60 kids in the show, so it should be a great semester!

We also celebrated Michael’s birthday. We went out to eat with his family and some friends and then they came back to our house. His brother brought their Wii over and we had a great time. We had never played on a Wii. I really didn’t think I would like it, but it was lots of fun! I captured it on video, but it won't upload.

There have been a lot of referrals over the past month. I hope they keep coming. There are so many families who have been waiting a long time. I hope their referral comes quickly! The wait hasn’t been bad at all, but 2 weeks is nothing compared to 6+ months!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

WE ARE WAITING!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009 marked a very exciting and important day in our adoption journey. It is the day we officially became a family in waiting. We are on the wait list!!! We will now wait for the referral of our two beautiful children. The expected wait time is 4-6 months and then an additional 3-5 months to travel.

I cannot put into words what it means to be at this place in the process. It has been two years since we decided to adopt and it felt like this day would never come. It feels so official now and we are so excited about the future.

Here’s to waiting…