Week 44 + Word for 2021

Happy New Year! If your week back into reality has been anything like mine, you are probably exhausted! I always love the holidays- lots of sleeping in, tons of family time, no routine, no schedules….but man, the week after is always rough!

I had to teach a full three days this week (pathetic, I know :)) and we’ve had a student teacher join us! When our principal asked if we’d be willing to take on a student teacher, my first thought was- I’m not old enough! So many days I feel like I’m a 2nd or 3rd year teacher…and then I do the math and realize I’ve been teaching for a DECADE. Yikes. It’s been fun having a student teacher (and I’m really looking forward to her taking over the teaching) but it’s also been exhausting! You forget how much stuff you just naturally do- all the routines and processes- that you suddenly have to explain in depth to someone who is brand new to the field!

On top of all that, it’s been a busy week with adoption things! As we’re about 10 weeks out from the due date, we’ve started to really look at all the nitty gritty paper work details. Mama A’s due date is March 19ish and many of our fingerprints, clearances, and forms expire March 20-27.

For the state of Kansas, we need to make sure our paperwork dates are less than a year old for placement (receiving the baby) but not finalization (official court proceedings). However, these expiration dates are wayyyy to close for comfort and when we’re dealing with something this big, we don’t want to chance anything. (Also, these fingerprints are the ones that took FOUR months to get back while we were in the middle of Covid). That means, SIGH, we need to get re-fingerprinted and update all our forms (all the stuff we did LAST March to get ready to adopt). We have fingerprint appointments scheduled for tomorrow already, I spent yesterday going to our doctors to get updated medical releases, and our employers wrote us new employment letters. We should be good with our drug/TB tests, tax information, and state criminal checks (those don’t expire until April, so unless Mama A goes WAY overdue, we’re fine :)).

This also means extra expenses. Fingerprints and background checks are not cheap, yet they’re required to be updated yearly. Some families wait 1-3 years for their adoption and each and every year they need to update ALL forms. This is one of the frustrating aspects of adoption…somedays you feel like you can never get ahead!

As for our financial standing- we shared a few weeks ago how God provided in such amazing ways (Greg’s raise, unexpected donations, etc…) and we only needed $7,000 more! This week we were thrilled to put our stimulus check toward that amount and officially put us at the $6000 mark! (The other $200 of the $1200 will go toward fingerprints….yay. Haha!)

We had contemplated one last ‘big’ fundraiser but after discussing, we really feel like we’ve maxed out our fundraising opportunities. We DO NOT want to be those people that are constantly in your face asking for donations. There is a fine line between fundraising tactfully and going overboard, and we feel we’ve reached that line. 🙂

We also have some baby showers coming up and we feel SO blessed to have people supporting us in this way to help us prepare for baby!

We feel strongly that this last $6,000 will come. We don’t know from where, but we have a true sense of peace that God is going to show up and provide this last little bit. We are STILL waiting to hear back from a few grants (we haven’t received any yet, which is a bummer), we continue to return pop cans, and we may do a ‘mini-fundraiser’ (hot cocoa bombs from Rachie Cakes!) around Valentine’s.

Where God guides, He provides!

Mama A has an appointment TODAY, so we are anxious to hear how baby is doing and what to expect as we get closer to his due date- is it looking like he’ll be early? Late? Right on time? If there’s anything I’ve learned during this process, it’s been giving up CONTROL. It’s not an easy lesson to learn!

To end this post, I did want to quickly share the word we’ve chosen for 2021. If you haven’t yet, you can read my last post (here) as I reflected on our word for 2020. It always amazes us how God shows up and uses our word of the year to further His plans in our life. So, without further ado:

Our word for 2021 is ‘delight’.

de·light/dəˈlīt/ verb: to take great pleasure in.

After a year of working toward the next deadline, impatiently waiting for each step of the adoption process, and begrudgingly living through a pandemic, we want to turn our focus toward taking DELIGHT in each day, each new experience, and adventure.

We want to turn our focus toward DELIGHTING in God’s Word, taking DELIGHT in who He is and the plans He has for us. So often we turn to Him for comfort, peace, and help (which are natural and important!) but we often forget to worship and DELIGHT in Him without seeking gain for ourselves.

We want to take DELIGHT in our new son and in the journey of parenthood. We don’t want to wish the sleepless nights away, we don’t want to feel overwhelmed with not knowing what we’re doing. We’ve longed for this for years and we want to take DELIGHT in it all- even in the messy, hard parts.

I want to personally learn and practice taking DELIGHT in myself. I’ve made some small steps this past year in counseling learning how to love myself and retrain my brain. I want to learn to DELIGHT in who I am, right now, each and every day- not thinking I’ll be better WHEN _____ happens. I want to DELIGHT in the things I can do, the person I’ve been made to be and not try to change that because of what society tells me.

We want to take DELIGHT in our families, our jobs, our church.

We want to bring DELIGHT to others in our community.

We want to DELIGHT in the mundane and the extraordinary.

We’re excited to see how God will grow us as we take DELIGHT this year.

2020 was a year like no other, but I have a feeling we’ll be able to say the same about 2021.

Stay tuned as we are in the final weeks of this almost year long process! More updates to come!