We had a hurricane, Nate's 30th birthday, a bridal shower for by best-oldest-childhood-friend, a yard sale fundraiser, a stomach bug from you-know-where that canceled our sweet 5 year old's party - and now viola! here we are! Two days away from our first home study visit.
Let me back up the train a little and say this - we have been BLOWN away during this past month by the amount of people who have crossed our paths that have been affected by adoption one way or the other. They were adopted - their spouses we adopted - their siblings - someone in their family adopted someone - it has been CRAZY - and SO encouraging.
Our yard sale fundraiser was a day that would not have been a success without so many people loving on us. I will share my journal entry from the next day...
God was so very sweet to us that day. Nate even sent me a text (he kept the sale going when I had to leave to be with my sister while she found and bought the most Ah-MAZING wedding dress) that said - someone saw our yard sale sign - and when they stopped and saw we were raising money for our adoption (we put out a "thank-you for supporting our adoption" sign at the sale) they didn't buy anything, but donated the cash they had because of how much adoption meant to them. Nate was also able to meet their daughter - who was adopted from China. Crazy, right?
I wish I could say that the mountain top experience of "God has totally go this" and "He is going to rock this - and we are just going to sit back and watch His hand work and give Him all the glory" feeling lasted forever. But, total mom honesty - it didn't - as fast as that feeling of emotional high got here - it went out the door with the stomach bug. Seriously, life happens, I get that. But I distinctly remember in that moment at 3 a.m. exhausted, tired, with a husband who was now sick too - feeling like "you can't do this" - "you can't even cheerfully take care of two people in your family after you have been healthy for most of the year" "How in the WORLD do you think you can add someone else to the mix." Y'all. The struggle is real. And somehow - I feel like it is even more real when you KNOW what you are doing is the right thing. But you know, in the middle of that big mess - the day I was feeling way less than capable - I received a handwritten card in the mail from a sweet couple whom I haven't spoken to in person in YEARS. And she encouraged me for my faith - encouraged us - and reminded us that people were praying for us. Her words felt like a big huge hug in that moment - and yet another reminder that God sees - and cares - that we are not in this alone. And while we aren't capable in our own strength - His power is made PERFECT in weakness - and that His grace is enough.
So where are we now? We have three visits scheduled within the next week. Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I wish I could say i felt "prepared" - but I don't. I wish I could say I will feel prepared - but I'm sure I won't. There are closets that I wish were cleaner. There are walls I wish weren't scuffed. There are places (you know, the junk drawer) I wish would be organized before then. But truthfully, they won't be. And yes, the home study (from what we gather) is much more about HOW you live - than where you live - doesn't everyone get a little nervous about the thought of someone coming in and possibly looking in the closets?? It is much more about how you raise kids/plan to raise kids/were raised yourself - than the WHERE you are raising them - but still. We are just going to invite them in to our big, beautiful(ish), chaotic mess where the junk drawer(s) overflow and the kids crafts adorn every wall of the house, and pray for the best. (a.k.a. - Pray that we can all act semi-functional for 3 half days.)
So, would you pray with us? That our nerves would be calm (mainly mine, let's be honest - Nate has no nerves - and could talk to a complete stranger about ANYTHING for ANY length of time - so he needs a lot less prayer than I do). For open, honest, clear conversations and that we would be able to listen with open hearts. One of the big things we will discuss in further detail - will be what types of special needs our family feels equipped to handle. Thankfully, Nate and I have been on almost the exact same page regarding this through the process so far, and I would just ask that you would pray that we receive the information we need, have truthful discussions, and that whatever path God lays before us, that we would be willing to walk it.