Thank You for Helping Bring Jack Home!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Little Extra Parking Space {and a HUGE answer to prayer!}

Last Sunday we took the boat out for another amazing day at the lake. 

Our {Happiest} place. 

And we had another grand ole time.  

And about the time we got settled back at home and put dinner on the grill, Justin's phone rang.

After MONTHS of advertising and pretty much giving up, we had a buyer!! 

It was very bittersweet (maybe even more emotional for me than Justin, because I know how much his bass boat means to him) to see it pull out of our driveway one last time.  

But...when the day is done it is just another 'thing' and well, we have {BIG} plans for that money!!  

{thankful for}
His provisions
answered prayers
Sweet memories 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Number Four

Tonight, Justin and I were taking about our particular point of waiting in our adoption process and we were discussing how if someone had never adopted before or experienced adoption in some way, shape, or form in their life, well then, they probably have zero clue of the weight that 24 hours holds.  We just so happened to be speaking of people who hold our paperwork at various stages of the process who may say for one reason or another, "well I'll just put this off for a day or week or however long and will get to it soon enough," and whereas they might think things are being done quickly enough, unless they've LIVED it, they just. don't. get. the. magnitude. of. waiting. twenty-four. more. hours.

And it's not at all to say they are bad people or are not doing their jobs efficiently.  It was more of a conversation acknowledging our indescribable excruciation of the thought of having to wait one stinking more day.  

And then, a darling friend- who is also amidst the sheer beautiful absurdness that is adoption- tagged me in the most brilliant blog post I may have ever read.  

The author goes on to illustrate the top six things adoptive parents want you to know.  It starts out with number 1 saying we are crazy.  And despite the fact that we do in fact have psychological testing that proves otherwise, I don't care what those results say, we are in fact 113% Cah-Ray-Zay.  Boom. 

But number four.  Oh blessed number four.  I read it twice.  And my eyes swelled up with tears even more the second time I read this.  Yes.  Yes. Yes.  This is Justin's and my everyday) bold and underlines, mine):

4. The wait feels like it will kill us, and it puts our whole life on pause, because we are so in love with our child whom we have never met, and feel like there is a gaping hole in our family. This may be one of the hardest things for people, who have never walked through the adoption process to understand. To love a child we have never met, and to miss that child in a way that knocks the air from our lungs sounds preposterous. Surely it cannot be the same feeling that a parent would feel if their birth child was missing from their home. But let me assure you, it is the same feeling. Remember the way you felt when you heard your child's heartbeat for the very first time, or witnessed the kicks and wiggles on an ultrasound machine? That overwhelming desire to protect, and nurture your child with every fiber of your being before you had even physically met her? It's the exact same thing. But we don't have the privilege of watching our bellies expand and feeling the reassuring wriggling inside of us. We just have this stretched out heart, and the realization that in this moment we are powerless to keep our child safe. We don't have the privilege of knowing that our wait will be just nine months - a definite ending point when we will see our child's face. Instead our timetable is very much indefinite, we get no guarantee of when he will arrive, and that is hard. It is so hard. We walk around and it hurts to breathe, to function, our world feels like it has stopped because our child is missing. I remember one instance when I was having an especially difficult time with the wait. We had received our referral for Jamesy, and we were waiting for a court date and permission to travel to Ethiopia to meet him. The day of his first birthday arrived - a day I had begged God to bring him home by, but that wasn't in His plans - I was in agony that day. My heart literally hurt at the thought of him not being with family for his first birthday. That day, a dear, beautiful friend, showed up at my door with a gigantic hug, and a gorgeous hand crocheted blanket for Jamesy, as a tribute for his first birthday. The gift and hug meant the world to me - that she cared and noticed the pain. I don't remember if she said anything, but the words were not what was important. My advice to you? SHOW UP. Just show up, and extend grace, love, and mercy - let them know that you see this pain, you acknowledge it, and you care.

This author totally and completely surmises why Jack Cruz is always on our hearts and minds.  It doesn't for a second mean we love our precious Perry any less or we aren't satisfied with our little family of three.  Our child is on the other side of the world.  And whereas we signed up for this and we knew God would have to redeem Jack's story by creating beauty from ashes, it doesn't change the fact that adoption comes at an incredible cost on all three ends of the triad.  (Child, Birth Family, Adoptive Family) 

As we journey each day more without having that blessed court*date, we know the chances of even getting to meet our son before his second birthday are growing so so slim.  We cannot even believe we went from *knowing* our son would be home by June to praying he makes it home by Christmas-by the end of the year, for that matter.  

I write this-or rather repost this-information not to draw pity or words of encouragement (though please know those are always appreciated and such a blessing), but instead to try to educate.  I just want y'all to know.  To know the love.  To know that blood means absolutely nothing.  Love makes a family.  And love runs so so deep.  Across oceans and across continents.  And we just truly can't wait until all our love is snuggled together under one roof.  

Original blog post can be found HERE

{thankful for}
friends and family who get it
friends and family who don't get it, but love us enough to learn
grace that creates beauty from ashes

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Meet Atticus Eeyore

I love that my grandparents live on a mini farm.  They have our horses, chickens, soon to be goats again, once the fence is fixed, and now, the cutest, sweetest, snuggliest little miniature donkey.  

Can you tell P dressed himself this morning? ;)

Atticus Eeyore (lovingly named by Mr P) made his way to Humphrey Farm this last weekend and I got to meet him today.  I could totally just eat him up.  He is awesome. 

He gives the sweetest kisses (you read that correctly) and loves to snack on Vanilla Wafers.  

We gave him a good brushing and in return he gave Perry some sweet nibbles.  Perry kept giggling and exclaiming, "Why does this donkey love me so much?!" 

Glad to have this new little dude on the farm.  I'm sure my boys are gonna give him so much attention! 

{thankful for}
land where my boys can run around till their little hearts' content
Atticus Eeyore
backwards shirts
sweaty blonde hair
finding bird 'fedders' in the pasture 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Yankees Take the Cupcakes

Weekend before last, we had our end of the year Yankees TBall party.  And, although in TBall these days you technically don't keep score, my head coach husband was quick to assure me our team was undefeated! ;)

P mostly played short stop or third base throughout the season and did some awesome dirt sifting!  This Mommy was SO proud of her little MVP!  And he was extremely proud to finally receive his 'VERY FIRST REAL MEDAL!!!!' (He has always loved playing with my old gymnastics medals.) 

And seriously...what is a party without cupcakes?! 

{thankful for}
being married to the coach
sweet ball park days
nachoes and cheese
a little orange helmet
my little slugger
my mother's baking skills

Monday, June 30, 2014

I Did It

I downloaded the blogger app.  I have known it was here for quite some time now but I didn't want to succumb to it for fear that my blog might not look as 'clean' or 'print worthy'.  But the cold hard truth is that I don't have the time-or rather have lately chosen not to invest the time-into my blog.  When P was younger I'd often wait till the late late hours after he's fallen asleep (finally) to do my blogging, but as he's getting older, we are chasing fire flies into the darkness and by the time he goes to sleep, even later if that's possible, I just don't wanna lugg out the computer and edit photos and arrange them neatly and all that jazz.  Sure I will certainly still do that.  But I'm also gonna be doing a lot more 'throw a post together on my iPhone so I have it for my kids later' posts too.   

Starting with this one.

Our first trip to the lake this summer.  

The lake...ahhhhh. My {HAPPY} place.  I heart the lake in the biggest way.   A total water baby, and hence love my name- Brooke.  

Sidenote, while pregnant, I tried to talk Justin into letting us name our kids Lake, River, Ocean...he said no.

I had a photoshoot scheduled for the morning so J and P met the fam a little before me and then I tagged along about 45 minutes later.  And in that first 45 minutes of me not there to monitor Justin's sunscreen application, he got fried. Evenly.  Which is a huge downfall...or improvement...from having me there to apply it for him-in a quilted streak pattern.  Right Amanda?! I digress....

We had a blast.  

My water baby thoroughly enjoyed himself.  

And my big water baby thoroughly entertained us by letting my dad wildly sling him around on the tube.  

We are lucky enough to only live about 8 minutes away from this little slice of heaven, and I for one cannot wait for our next trip out here.

{thankful for}
happy babies
newborn smells
a fun photoshoot
lake water
a brave 5-year-old
the alphabet game
the nerdiest sister on the planet who wants to play the pharmaceutical version of the alphabet game
my Perry's hair, wet with summer
the easiest blog post in my blogging history- I'm totally trying to let to of the fact that it's probably not aligned the way I'd like or is lacking my cute signature at the bottom...I'll fix those issues another day 
... but isn't my hubby the cutest?!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

{Mc} Family Photo Shoot Sneak Peek

It is always my complete honor and privilege to capture special events in my friend's and client's lives
And this shoot was especially fun because little bit is getting a little sister!

Her Mommy was glowing and her Grandmommy was full of joy.
And soon, Daddy's going to be wrapped around two little fingers...
But one things for sure, in this family, there's plenty of love to go around!

Congratulations sweet friends!!  I can't wait to meet litte Miss A!! 

{thankful for}
the opportunity to photograph this sweet family
little girl twirls
the sweetest, most cooperative Daddy
Mommy talks in between shots
gorgeous sunlight

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jack Cruz Update

Well... actually not too much to update on little bit himself, as we haven't gotten a pic or well baby checkup for quite some time.  We were told that the "older than 12 months kids" would start going every other month since there are so many babies in rotation right now.  This momma heart thinks that new routine stinks.  It is no fun to go a couple of months without any info on your baby all the way around the globe.  The only thing we've heard recently is that he went in for yet another procedure last month, though we don't really have any results or pertinent information on it.  He goes almost every month for this same type procedure, and truthfully, I know that he is receiving amazing care, but I really wish he could just hold off on any more poking and prodding until he is snuggled in my arms and I can be the one to take him.  I know he's in amazing care, but still... he's my little baby and its hard not to be able to mother him right now...

Onto our process:

We are patiently {truthfully- so far we are doing ok with this particular part of the wait, though of course with adoption, soon is never soon enough} waiting for our court*date.  We were told yesterday that there is a little snag with our paperwork and our agency is trying to work through that and really there's nothing Justin and I can do about it, other than wait and hope its all ironed out lickity split.  We are praying its really nothing and will continue to be processed quickly.

**UPDATED:  Unfortunately, the snag is a little more concerning than we originally thought.  We humbly covet your prayers that all paperwork issues can be aligned into place and that we will be well on our way to our little boy.**

Even though we have been assigned to a judge who has in the past been a bit behind the others, we have a peace about it.  And for that matter, for whatever reason, I just felt very certain he was our judge anyway, so I wasn't the least bit surprised by this news.  I also feel like I need to knock on some wood just in case, but I realllly do think we will travel for C sooner rather than later.  I sure do HOPE so, at least.  And we've also been told that the families who have appeared in front of him have been very pleased with him and that his demeanor is very polite and encouraging.  That's certainly great news!

Our fingerprints expire again August 17th and his birthday is September 3rd.  I would LOVE to have him home by Aug 17 so Justin doesn't have to take off work and us pay again for reprints (if you're keeping count this will be the fifth re-fingerprinting....but I'd REALLLLLY LOVE to have him home by his birthday.

Alrighty.  Keep praying sweet friends!  We are getting sooooo close to our little one!

{thankful for}
foster Omma and Appa who love on our boy while we can't
A God who holds my baby in his arms, always 
an adoption program that takes extraordinary care of my baby's health, even when its hard to read
the photos and info that we do have, as we know 
we are very lucky with the amount of info we have been given

Our Adoption Timeline

  • June 19, 2011- We are officially "Paper Pregnant!" We have submitted our Waiting Child Application to Holt!
  • July 5, 2011- Submitted our formal Home Study Application to Villa Hope
  • September 6, 2011- Submitted all of our paperwork for our Home Study
  • October 8, 2011- Completed our First Home Visit
  • October 17, 2011- Completed our Second Home Visit
  • November 14, 2011- Home Study Approved
  • December 1, 2011- Filed our I600a
  • February 1, 2012- I600a Approval Letter
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