Book Nook · Random


At the beginning of 2016, I set of a goal of reading 12 books – one a month.  I am a big fan of reading but I don’t always have the time to read the kind of things I actually want to read.  I figured one a month shouldn’t be too incredible hard.  Well, here we are halfway through November and here I am on book #8.  A lot has happened this year – a pregnancy, a miscarriage, a ridiculous amount of stress, tons of projects and things to get done around the house and at work… you get the idea.  There were plenty of times I would’ve liked to sit down and read a book but I didn’t have the energy to keep my eyes open.  I guess my reading challenge will be left unfinished…

The book I just completed is called “Dear Thing” by Julie Cohen.  It’s about an infertile couple that wants nothing more than to have a baby.  A friend ends up offering to be their surrogate.  Although the wife is excited about becoming a mother, she’s jealous of the surrogate being able to provide what should could not.  In the end, both women are desperately in love with this unborn child.  Obviously, I could relate to the infertile woman but I could also relate to the surrogate – I know what it feels like to have a baby growing inside and then feeling the emptiness when it’s gone.

I love books that can conjure up emotions, I want a good story, but I want to feel something.  Some people don’t like to read fiction because it’s usually all happy endings.  I love what the author said “if a happy ending is hard-won, if it comes out of depth of emotion and it isn’t predictive, it’s hugely satisfying.  Life is hard.  I see nothing wrong in reading to feel better”.  I wholeheartedly agree.

Another good read, “What Was Mine” by Helen Ross.  This one is about an infertile woman who finds a baby in a shopping cart all alone.  She tells herself that she’s just going to take the baby to the front of the store for help in locating the parent.  Ultimately, she ends up kidnapping the baby and raising her for more than twenty years, all the while, telling herself she saved the baby from someone who just didn’t care enough.

As the years went by and our childlessness continued, I tortured myself with how many images the word “barren” could conjure:  A dried-up fruit burned brown by the sun.  A frozen tundra.  A dust bowl or desert where nothing can grow.

I’m not torturing myself.  Often times, my husband will catch me crying while I’m reading and he’s always like ‘really?  it’s just a book’ but I find it to be very cathartic.  It’s hard to put into words how I feel sometimes and it’s nice to be able to relate to someone, albeit a fictional character, who has had a similar experience.  Just about everyone I know has been extremely supportive with everything I’ve been through this year and it’s greatly appreciated.  But, they can’t make me okay.  There’s nothing anyone can say or do because I have to do it myself.  I have to continue to pick myself up and keep moving forward with living my life.

So, while my reading challenge goal will probably be left unfinished, the good news is that I’m not done trying and I’m not ready to give up.  I’m still unfinished…


When Words Fail, Music Speaks

I’m a pretty sentimental person, but I’m also someone who doesn’t always like to show that side to everyone.  Last night, at a Darius Rucker concert, the music got me all emotional and I wasn’t prepared.  You see, the last year or so of my life has been difficult arduous just plain exhausting.

About this time last year, we were preparing for an adoption to be finalized.  I’d rather not get into the details here, but unfortunately, there were some…issues…that I couldn’t have predicted.  Teenage boys can be unpredictable, especially one that’s been in and out of the foster care system most of his life.  I so desperately wanted it to work out.  I’d wanted to be a mom for so long.  No, he wasn’t the baby I always dreamed about, that I could carry and name and share an unbreakable bond with… this was a teenage boy who needed parents to love him, shelter him and keep him safe.  We tried so hard to be the parents he needed us to be, but in the end we just weren’t.  As the social worker agreed that it was never going to work, that it wouldn’t be right for any of us, I felt like it wasn’t real – this isn’t happening, this is all a dream…

If I told you the mess I can be when there’s no one to see could you look the other way, could you love me anyway?

But no, it wasn’t a dream.  And just as quickly as parenthood became a part of my life, it was gone.

As difficult as it was, I finally moved past it.  We determined that as much as we wanted to be parents and as much love as we thought we could give to a child in need, it was just too hard emotionally.  Our first experience with fostering & adoption was traumatic and in my heart, I know I’m not strong enough to do it all over again.

I know what I felt, and I know what I said, but don’t think I don’t think about it.

After a few months, we were in a better place.  In the past, our relationship has had its ups and downs.  We’ve surely had our share of issues to deal with (maybe even more than most couples) but I think the experience actually brought us closer together.  Our relationship was stronger because of it.  We learned that God has a plan and if that doesn’t include us having children, well then, we’ll be okay because we have each other.

God certainly has a way of making sure you know that you are not in control.  Once we got to the point where we accepted the fact we may never have kids that’s when I got pregnant.  It was a complete and utter shock because that wasn’t supposed to be possible.  After many years of trying to conceive, I finally agreed to go to a specialist to hear what I think I knew all along – we’re infertile.  Not me, not him, but both of us.  The doctor told us that together we only had about a 15% chance – and that would continue to decrease as I got older.  His exact words were “your only GOOD option is in vitro”.  That’s all fine, I have no problem with fertility treatments if that’s what it takes, but even if we had the money our odds were still only 50%.  So, you can imagine my surprise when at 38 I see those two pink lines!  Of course, there were several more tests to confirm I wasn’t just seeing things.

We were ecstatic!  The general rule is to wait until you’re through the first trimester to tell people because you could have a miscarriage – and the odds were much higher at my age.  The waiting was incredibly difficult, how could we possibly keep it a secret?  I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.  We waited a full 8 weeks before telling our parents and after that my husband was telling random strangers in the grocery store.

When I lay down at night I thank the Lord above for giving me everything I could ever dream of.

The rest of the public and social media were told at about 12-13 weeks on Easter, we just couldn’t hold it in any longer.  Then, the bomb is dropped.  We opted not to do any of the genetic screening because we wanted this baby no matter what.  Well, a simple ultrasound determined that our baby had cystic hygroma.  It’s a genetic disorder and when diagnosed in the womb, it’s very rare for the baby to survive to full-term.  Devastation.  Ok God, is this a test?  Are you testing us to make sure that we really want to be parents, that we can handle it?  I tried so hard to stay positive the next few weeks, hoping & praying for that small percentage where everything turns out okay.  ‘There’s not enough room in my head for worry & hope, so I’m choosing hope’ became my mantra.

We are one heartbeat in the darkness, we are one lasting answered prayer. We are one unbroken promise and we are two true believers.

God’s timing is impeccable.  At my 16 week appointment the doctor can’t find the heartbeat.  I knew something was wrong – my nausea had gone away a few days earlier and I led myself to believe it was because I was further along.  No.  There was no heartbeat because our baby had died.  It was the day after Mother’s Day.

Apparently, I had a few options:  1) Go home and just wait until the miscarriage completes naturally, which could be several days,  2) Undergo a D& C (there was absolutely no way I was going to let that happen) or 3) Go to the hospital and essentially induce labor.  From the time we found out there was no heartbeat, I had remained relatively calm.  We knew this was a possibility.  But as I walked into that hospital room, I lost it.  I had pictured it, but of course it was under very different circumstances.  It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  It was supposed to be a happy time.  I’ve never noticed it before, but when you walk through the maternity ward, take a look at the room doors.  You’ll probably see plenty of pink & blue cards “It’s a Girl” or “It’s a Boy”… and then there may just be one that has a simple picture of a leaf with a raindrop.  Those are for the mothers like me who don’t get to take their baby home.

And it’s crazy to think that one little thing could’ve changed it all.

Emotionally, it was a very difficult night, but medically speaking, it was fairly easy.  The nurse said it could take hours or even days for my body to start labor and I would have pain.  And she scared me by saying the biggest concern was around the placenta and the umbilical cord.  If the cord breaks (because it’s so thin) and the placenta doesn’t come out I’d have to go to surgery.  I was supposed to have the second dose of cytotec at midnight, but it wasn’t necessary.  I didn’t realize what was happening at first… the nurse came in at just the right moment.  It happened so fast.  I think that God blessed me with making it pretty quick and painless – he had to have known I’d been through enough already.  After about 15 minutes, we were looking at our baby.  Too hard to determine gender, about the size of my palm.  We could see facial features had started to form, tiny little hands & feet.  It was so surreal.

This could be one of those memories we wanna hold on to, we wanna cling to, one that we can’t forget.

Our baby was gone.  I’ve caught myself telling people that we lost our baby.  But really, we didn’t lose him/her.  Our baby wasn’t misplaced, like a set of keys or your favorite pen.  Our baby died.  Then again, maybe our baby was misplaced – placed in the wrong womb or at the wrong time…

It’s been tough, some days are definitely better than others.  It’s hard to hear another coworker, friend, neighbor, family member is expecting.  I’m happy for all of them, but sad for myself and sometimes it’s best to just keep my distance.  Sometimes I don’t think about it but then I’ll hear a song, see a belly or pass a baby and it makes me feel a little guilty.  How can I go on living like nothing happened?  I’ve learned that we will never get over it, but with our wonderful family & friends supporting us, we are getting through it.  We prayed for a child, but God gave us an angel instead.

But now I’ve got an angel looking out for me today.

Often it’s hard for me to put into words exactly what I’m feeling, but sometimes music can say what I can’t.  So let the music play…


We’re Almost There…

imagesalmostAnother month has just flown by and I have to say this parenting thing (while not easy in the least) is starting to feel more and more natural.  We’re becoming more familiar with each other, which is great because we’re closer and really forming the family bond.  At the same time, as we get more comfortable we’ve also starting to get on each others nerves a little more.  You have to take the good with the bad… the “Facts of Life” theme song just popped in my head!  I’m not going to lie, we’ve had some rough days – there has been some yelling, some door slamming and some crying.  But, there have also been some really good open communication too.  It’s been a struggle for me because I’m the one that wants to talk things out and my two guys (the teen and the old dude) don’t like talking about how they are feeling they just lash out.  Honestly, most days the only issue we have is that they are too much alike!

indexA few weeks ago we had a birthday (still can’t believe I’ve fast-forwarded to be a mom of a 17 year old!).  We took three teenage boys to the lake for the day.  All day.  Water slides, water trampolines, kayaks and paddle boats… then they wanted to try cable wake boarding.  Now, did they listen to me when I suggested they take the 15 minute class on how to get up on the board first?  No, of course not!  I mean why on earth would they listen to reason?  I was outnumbered and wouldn’t you know they all crashed & burned the first time out… and the second… and the third.  I was proud that my son and my nephew didn’t give up after the first fail they did keep trying for awhile only to finally realize I was right.  By the way, I’m almost always right – except for the one time.  :-)

After the birthday there was a weekend camping trip.  I’m so grateful for my mom and nephew because I didn’t have a clue all what he needed for the trip or how to prepare and neither did he.  This was not your pop up a tent at the KOA campground camping mind you.  I’m talking no running water and dig a hole for a potty kind of camping – primitive camping with boy scouts in the mountains.  imageshjhNeedless to say I wasn’t going!  This was the first time he’d be away for the weekend since moving in and honestly I was a little worried.  Luckily there weren’t any issues (other than it rained and they had a huge trash bag full of wet clothes to deal with when they got back).  They had a great time but my kid, who loves the outdoors, wasn’t quite ready for five mile hikes with all their gear and such.  I think he slept an entire day after he got back!

All in all, it’s been good.  It may sound weird, but I can actually see him growing up since he’s been here.  One of the workers gave us a disc of pictures from the last year and when I compare them to what he looks like now the change is remarkable.  We’ve all had to learn a little patience and understanding; constantly working on the open communication.  So, tomorrow begins the new school year.  This weekend we met his teachers and bought school supplies.  Those of you who know me know that I get all excited about school supplies, teenage boys… not so much.  But, I did find him a pretty cool planner and helped him get it organized, hoping it’ll help keep him on track this year.  Unfortunately, although we’ve finally signed the papers for the adoption petition, it won’t be final for a little while longer.  Luckily, the school was great about going ahead and letting him use his new last name in class from day one.  We’re in the home stretch… hopefully everything will be finalized soon.


Nobody Said It’d be Easy

July.  I cannot believe it is July already!  So much has happened in the last few months…

Back in April our family dynamic changed – we now have a 16yr old boy living among us.  I know that sounds odd, but 16yr old boys are odd creatures!  We’ve been thrown into parenthood quite abruptly and we’ve had to kind of learn as we go.

On April 3rd we drove to Charlotte to pick our soon to be adopted son.  It seemed fitting to be Good Friday.  At first there was a lot of walking on eggshells trying to gradually get more familiar with each other but now that’s not the case.  It took some time to learn our rules and get into a routine.  It’s a lot like starting a new job – you’re excited and nervous and really don’t know what you are supposed to be doing yet.  It’s hard to know what to expect, all we knew was that things were changing and quickly.

44One of the first struggles was school.  Most teenagers don’t like school but it’s even more difficult when you’ve been moved around so much.  Trying to get a teenage boy to understand how important school is at 16 is more challenging than I had expected, but luckily we made it through that last semester….barely!

Now, think about all those things you use or consume every single day – cell phone, internet, soda, fast food… Imagine never having those things and then all of a sudden having them right at your finger tips.  Boy, it’s a like a kid in a candy shop.  Actually, candy is another one!  As Americans we enjoy those vices all too often and it’s hard to explain to a 16yr old that’s never had those things that there has to be a limit to it.  We’re slowly but surely getting there.

Don’t take for granted all those basic manners your mom taught you growing up.  You’d assume a teenager would know better than to act a certain way – especially in public.  Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.  Behavior (good or bad) is learned.  This particular teenager with ADHD was never been taught the proper way to act in a restaurant, grocery store, etc.  Or, why it’s not okay to use certain words or say certain things.  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves the behavior comes from what he’s seen and heard and he doesn’t always understand what’s appropriate and what’s not or

Another issue has been money.  Of course we want to give him all the things he’s never had, but at the same time we aren’t rich and we want him to appreciate what he does have.  A dollar will burn a hole in that’s kid’s pocket!  At least now he understands the difference between wanting something and needing it.  No, you want a king-size candy bar, you don’t need it.

There have been some rough patches and every day it seems there is a new challenge, but regardless of what we’re faced with, I’m determined not to give up.  This kid has been pushed aside all his life and I refuse to be another person that throws in the towel.  We don’t always know what we are doing and we will make mistakes but we will continue to support him and love him no matter what.

He is our son and today was a good day.

“The child who knows unconditional love has the greatest give the world can offer.”


What a Whirlwind!

whirlwindUsually this time of year is busy for everyone, but there’s been some extra hustle and bustle for us.  I’ve posted about our first adoption event, but haven’t found the time to put down into words anything that’s happened since then.  The young man we met back in August (we’ll call him “D”) was on our mind and in our hearts that we felt we couldn’t ignore it, we were being led to see where this goes…As with any other child in foster care, we learned that “D” has had some struggles in his short life – but nothing that we didn’t think we could handle.

After lots of consideration we made the decision to move forward.  milesIt seemed to take forever, everything was moving at a painfully slow snail’s pace.  Finally, we get word that his social worker would like to interview with us!  Now, “D” is from the western part of the state, a good 4.5 hours away so the interview was via Skype. Neither of us enjoy getting pictures taken so we certainly don’t like the idea of video chatting but if this is what it takes, that’s what we do. So we ‘skyped’ with his social worker, his recruiter, administrator, supervisors, the whole team. They had several questions for us and we were able to ask questions as well. In fact, our social worker made sure to tell us that nothing was off-limits, she suggested we ask anything we wanted to know – I mean, you need to know what you’d be getting into before making a life-altering decision, right?

We felt like the interview went well but several weeks went by without a word.  There was another family being interviewed as well so we were getting anxious.  The same recruiter anxietythat facilitated the the first event we attended had organized another Thanksgiving event the weekend before the holiday and we were invited to attend – we were told “D” would be there.  My initial thought was ‘will the other family be there as well because that could be awkward’ but of course I never actually asked that question.  We decided we really wanted to see him again so we drove several hours back to Charlotte for the event.

As soon as we got there a cute little boy walked up and introduced himself to us, let’s call him “N”.  He immediately started talking about what he liked to do, liked the eat, he was making a point to sell himself. As I came back from the bathroom a girl (“B”) asked me to come sit and talk with her and well, it’s not like I’m going to say no.  She was quite funny.  Although we were there to see “D” in particular, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t pay attention to any of the other kids and these really are great kids.  The event included a dinner and afterwards some of the kids stood up to speak about how thankful they were to have us there to spend time with, etc.  Oh, to hear these kids talk so eloquently about strangers spending a few hours just talking, playing games and sharing a meal with them… heartMy husband felt the urge to stand up and speak too. He’s not the most articulate guy, but he spoke from the heart and I just broke down into tears, along with a few of the other potential parents.

After these events the kids usually get goodie bags; “N” had made a monkey out of play dough.  He came over to give it to me.  I knew if I took that play dough I would be making a commitment that I couldn’t keep and I didn’t want to break his little heart.  I explained that he was very sweet but I couldn’t take his play dough.  His response, “but I don’t know when I will get to see you again and if you don’t pick me then I may never see you again”.  Oh. my. God.  How on earth do you respond to something like that?  He then came over and gave both of us a hug.  He was breaking my heart!  Then, as we were leaving, “B” said “so, you guys wanna take me home?”.  Seriously, if they’d let me I would’ve taken all three of them right then & there.

good news

Fast forward another week or so…I’m at work and I get a call from our social worker – they’ve made a decision on a family for “D”… and they picked us!  I was so shocked and immediately overwhelmed with emotion that I nearly dropped the phone.  So what now, what happens next?  Well, the adoption committee won’t meet again until January so we have to wait some more.  But… yes, there’s a but… joy“D” requested to spend Christmas with us and would we be okay with that.  YES!! Of course we would!  So we still have to work out the logistics and it’ll only be for a few days, but that’s okay.  We are beyond excited, I have to keep pinching myself because it’s all so surreal.  We’ve known for several days now, but I don’t think it’s truly sunk in yet.  I’ve caught myself driving to work and it hits me – I’m going to be a mom!  And of a teenager!  Oh boy…


Just Breathe…

I cannot begin to explain what I’m feeling right now.  This weekend we attended our first event for prospective adoptive parents since we received the approval letter from the agency.  It was both exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.  Exciting because it finally started to feel real and we’d get to meet different kids.  Nerve-racking because we really didn’t know what to expect, didn’t want to get our hopes up too much.  So, this was a back to school match event.  Here’s the premise – prospective parents and kids awaiting adoption get to meet and get to know each other in an informal, social setting.  At the end of the event both the kids and the parents complete a form (separately) making an indication if there was any kind of connection with a particular child/parent.  If any of the matches appear to be viable then social workers help get the ball rolling.  c5397c8849b7b26c0a5e4f0e394f3ada

We arrived early, both of us a little nervous and uncomfortable.  Immediately we met Michael, a recruiter from Children’s Home Society who put the event together.  All of the kids at the event were between the ages of 10-17.  Michael spoke so eloquently and with so much feeling, it brought forth a lot of my emotions almost immediately. I tried desperately to hold back tears.  We mingled and played games, trying to learn about each kid and just have fun.  We’ve said all along we don’t have real parenting experience so attempting to parent a teenager may be too difficult for us to handle so neither of us was expecting to have a strong connection.  But, as Michael said – open your heart, just spending time with this kids and making them special can make a huge impact.  We spent the day getting to know these kids and they were all so wonderful.  I was surprised at how open they were and how the smallest thing could make them smile.

After a few hours we realized we were making connections, we began to truly care about these kids.  They all had different personalities – they all had hopes and dreams and they all have something unique to offer the world.  And, they all just wanted to be happy and to be loved.

What we felt for these kids caught us both off-guard.  At the end of the event when we were completing our form, we wanted to learn more about every one of them.  I swear if we had the means, we’d take them all home with us right then!  But, unfortunately we can’t.  Surprisingly, there was one particular kid that we had a strong connection with.  A young man, who just turned 16.  He was very soft spoken and polite, but open and friendly.  He loves animals and spending time outdoors; loves history, science and art – math?  not so much.  He came up to me before leaving to shake my hand.  To tell me that it was nice meeting us, he enjoyed spending time with us, we seem nice…

So, here comes Michael – and here come the tears…  I couldn’t hold it in any longer.  It was all just so overwhelming.  We leave and head back to our friends’ house where we’re staying for the weekend.  They ask how it went and I don’t know why, but I can’t even talk without more tears.  tears

The rest of the weekend I find myself thinking about this kid – trying to picture what it would be like… is it possible we could parent a teenager?  I just don’t know.  I can’t explain it, but somehow I feel attached to him.  We both do.  After we finally got back home tonight we watched his video on the CHS website.  We don’t know many details about his past or what brought him into foster care, but we did learn that he’s been in and out of foster care since he was six.  Six.  Ten years.  Can you imagine?  We were floored.  And again with the tears…

It’s so hard to explain all the emotions I’m feeling right now.  My heart is breaking and I’m wondering, what do we do?


A Summer to Remember

Where does the time go?  So much has happened since my last post.  We’ve been in our new house for two years now and have yet to fill it up.  We’d been trying to have kids for years – yes, years to no avail.  I had refused to get checked out because honestly, I didn’t want to know that there might be a problem.  Well, finally last January I decided it was time.  So we met with a fertility specialist and had some tests done.  Turns out both of us have some issues and the chances of us conceiving is quite small – not impossible, but highly unlikely.  We were both upset, but I was devastated.  All I’ve ever wanted was a family with a house full of children.  I’ve always pictured myself with kids – several of them.  After the initial shock wore off we looked at our options.  There are a few, including in-vitro and embryo adoption.  But it’s really expensive and there’s no guarantee that it’ll work.  Which leads me to how we made the biggest decision of our lives thus far.

adoptEven before we were married, we’ve always talked about adoption.  There are so many wonderful children that just need a place to call home.  You see, adoption was always in our plan but our plan was to have our child first, get some experience and then adopt.  Well, as we all know things don’t go according to plan.  So we decided to attend an adoption information seminar in September.  After much discussion, we decided to submit an application with a well-known agency.  I researched several agencies and the one we picked came with references from several people I talked to that had adopted.  Once our application was received we met with a social worker.  She asked the standard questions about why we want to adopt, etc.  Then she invited us to attend special parenting classes for prospective adoptive & foster care parents, called MAPP.  MAPP classes are only held once a quarter so we had to wait…. four months!

Finally, in February we start attending MAPP.  Boy, was it a lot different from what we expected.  Much to Cru’s horror, there was even homework!  From what I understand normally classes are held over several weeks with one or two classes a week.  With winter weather and cancellations, we ended up finishing 30+ hours of class (including CPR certification) in about a month.  Knowing people who have adopted, people who were adopted themselves and the situation with my mom having custody and raising my stepbrother’s kids I thought I had a pretty good idea of what it takes and how difficult it could be…. yeah, not so much.  We were a bit surprised at some of the situations these kids in foster care go through and what kind of home life they come from.  I remember one particular class where our instructor did a guided imagery exercise that had a huge impact on me.  She had us sit back and relax, close our eyes and just picture us in the situation she’s explaining.  As she talked, she’d stop every so often and ask one of us to tell how we were feeling in that exact moment.  When it was my turn I was so engulfed in emotion that I could barely speak.  It was so vivid, felt so real, I was overcome and it upset me more than I would’ve ever imagined.  Another class involved a panel of families that had been through the foster care/adoption process.  The families were very open and it was extremely helpful to be able to ask questions about their experiences.foster-care

Ah… and then there was the paperwork!  There is so much paperwork!  In addition to the background checks, fingerprinting, driving records, etc.  We each (each!) had to complete a profile that was about 30 pages.  Some of it was general information such as medical history, but most of it was open-ended discussion questions related to how we were raised, how we showed emotion, how we plan to raise our kids, etc.  These were not questions that you could complete in an instant, these were thought-provoking questions that made you really dig deep – sometimes just trying to answer the question caused an emotion that I/we weren’t exactly prepared for.  Then there was the ‘preferences’.  When choosing to become an adoptive or foster parent, you have to choose your preferences – basically what you can/can’t or choose not to handle.  There’s the basics – are you open to any gender, race, age?  And then there are the more difficult decisions – are you open to a child with a medical condition, behavioral issues, developmental delays…?  I could not even begin to list all of the different possibilities on that several page list of issues a child in foster care could have, it was shocking.  Things I would’ve never even thought about before.  The hardest part was saying no to those things I know I couldn’t handle even though it hurt me to know that there is a child with that particular issue that just needs someone to love and care for them.  In my heart I wanted to say yes to all of them but I know that I have my limits to what I can physically & emotionally handle – not to mention Cru and I have to be in complete agreement so that our marriage doesn’t suffer.  The last thing we’d want to do is bring a child into our home when we can’t give them what they so need.

So, after the emotional roller coasters we finished up and our social worker submitted her report to the state requesting our foster care license.  And now we wait…


The waiting is agonizing.  Our friends and family are always checking in – “so how’s it going, heard anything yet?”  Nope, still waiting and it could be months.  We’re so thankful for all of the love and support we’ve had while going through this process.  It makes me smile to know that our loved ones share in our excitement and encourage us to continue down this path.  I certainly hope that we’ll continue to have their support going forward.  As I said before this wasn’t really part of our plan, but apparently it was His plan.  I don’t know what’s to come and that’s both scary and exciting.