Weeks 33-38

Time is flying! For that, I am so grateful! I really thought these months in the middle of our wait would drag, especially with the pandemic going on, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised.

It helps (not sure that’s the correct word…) that school is absolutely insane. In my 10 years of teaching, never have I been so stressed and overwhelmed. Trying to teach in person AND make sure all lessons are virtual is not an easy task- and I’m part time! I’m grateful we are still in-person, but it’s a lot. I truly don’t know how full-time teachers are doing it. They are my heroes. Seriously- pray for your teacher friends…they are burnt out, overwhelmed, and there is no end in sight. However, days blend together in the craziness of it all, so time feels fleeting- which in our case is an odd blessing. 🙂

To add to the craziness, Greg and I came down with Covid a few weeks ago. We are thankfully 100% back to normal, but it wiped us out for a good ten days. In many ways we are thankful to have had it and gotten it over with- as it’s now less of a worry for us during the next few weeks- especially as we head to Kansas on FRIDAY!

Yes- Friday! This trip snuck up on us so fast! We are so excited and a tad bit nervous. We will be flying out early Friday morning and will be back around 3pm Monday. We will be staying at the same Airbnb we’ll stay at in March and we’ll get to meet Mama A in person! We’ve been texting/planning all week and we all can’t wait.

I’ll be honest- I am nervous and fears creep in. What if she meets us in person and we’re different than she expected? What if we don’t click? What if she changes her mind? They are all valid fears, but they’re also WHAT-IFs. The what-if monster is a meanie. And as my therapist reminds me, I must trap him in a box and put him way up high in a closet…because he’s not worth my time. And if something he says would come true…well, then I’ll take the box down and worry about it. But for now- I need to focus on the TRUTH of our situation- that we have a fabulous relationship with Mama A and this trip will be such a special time for us all!

This week we picked up a special keepsake that we will take with us to Kansas- Mama A and I had been discussing ideas and she suggested we record ourselves reading a story so she can play it for baby- he can get used to our voices that way. What a brilliant and beautiful idea/blessing! We picked up these at Hallmark:

We will record ourselves reading the one on the right and also record ourselves singing on the star plush toy. We’ll then leave them with Mama A to play for baby over the next few months. As an added bonus, I picked up the book on the left, for Mama A to record herself reading. We’ll take that book home with us and once baby is born, she can always ‘read’ him a bedtime story. We pray these keepsakes will help our son know how loved he is by both families.

I also spent a lot of time this weekend organizing breast milk! A few weeks ago I put out the plea that we’d love to use breast milk as long as possible, and we were connected with a sweet mom that had a baby in August. She has already given us 1400 ounces and plans to keep giving us her extra through the first year! This is a HUGE answer to prayer! Our freezer in the garage and our chest freezer are FULL plus I’ve had to store some at my moms. What a beautiful problem to have! We cannot thank her enough for this selfless donation. We are thrilled!

Yesterday Greg and I did some Black Friday shopping and of course our mission was all things baby. We had so much fun and even though we only purchased a few things, the excitement helps keep us hopeful and thinking ahead to March. My absolute favorite find from yesterday was this swaddle blanket with a map of the US. I can’t wait to show our son Michigan and Kansas and have him know that both states are a big part of his story.

We’ve also been loving picking out all things BOY and getting his closet/nursery ready.

Amidst all the ‘fun’ preparations, people still ask us how we are doing on the financial end of things. The last few weeks have been a bit disappointing as we’ve gotten two grant ‘rejection’ letters.

We still need $7000 to for sure cover expenses (plus a $20,000 loan), but ideally $12,000 more so we can take out a smaller loan ($15,000) and not be so strapped with our monthly budget. We are still hopeful and remaining positive. I spent a couple hours filling out yet another grant application this week and there are about 3 we are still waiting to hear back from.

In all, the fact that we only need $7,000-$12,000 more is incredible. God has provided (through all of you) in more ways than we could have imagined. We know He will carry us the rest of the way!

As we get closer to March, and get more and more attached to the idea of bringing our son home, the realization that nothing is guaranteed sets in. However, as we’ve built a relationship with Mama A and love her more than we thought possible, we’ve realized if she would choose to parent, we could NEVER ever be mad at her. We have such unconditional love for Mama A that if she would change her mind, we would be devastated for ourselves, but so happy for her. This whole process changes you- adoption is full of so many more emotions than we ever thought possible and it stretches your ability to love. These are real people, real emotions, real decisions, real grief. How could you ever be upset about a mother that decides to love and raise her child?

Obviously, we pray that Mama A continues to feel peace about her decision and will help us become a family of three. Her selflessness and loss will be our greatest blessing. It’s a humbling place to be. As we balance these big emotions and decisions, we pray that above all, God is glorified and His will be done.

Until then, we keep counting down the days and we wait with hopeful expectation.

111 and counting….