Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Being "Pregnant" is Hard

My phone rings. Is it Logan (Lifeline social worker)?! Nope, just the bug man.

I click refresh on my email inbox 1,382 times. An email!! Oh wait, it's Brady's coach... not Logan.

If I check my Facebook groups again (even though I checked an hour ago), maybe there will be an announcement that a new shared list of waiting children will be released soon. Nothing.

Refining. Sanctifying. Humbling. I am thankful to be experiencing all this through the wait. I wrote about waiting HERE and all the wonderful plans God has through waiting. But if I'm being honest (and y'all know I don't have a problem being honest ;), I'm just weary today.

This past week or so (since the high of receiving our Log In Date) has been the most difficult week of the process thus far. I knew that waiting for a referral would be an emotional step and it has proven to be even more than I expected. I didn't expect to have a match a week after LID, nor do I expect to have one any time soon. But it's possible. And that's enough to make me crazy.

We set up Emily's new bedroom over the weekend. Thanks to great friends, she has a beautiful crib and furniture. She won't see her room for another several months but it's ready and waiting for her arrival... just like we are.

There are so many aspects (emotional and otherwise) of this process that I never understood before actually being in it. What's the big deal about waiting if you know ahead of time it's going to take a year or more? It's very hard to explain until you're in it. You go from pursuing adoption (like it's a process), to pursuing a specific child who you know belongs in your family. In God's perfect timing (I hope that's tomorrow), He will show us exactly who our daughter is. That's hard to wait for, y'all.

If you're a momma, you remember the anticipation you felt in the waiting room right before your ultrasound. Although she isn't born then, you get a glimpse of who she is. She can't come home to sleep in her crib just yet but oh the excitement of seeing her little profile. Maybe she's even sucking her thumb or jumping around. The pregnancy pangs are real and painful in both circumstances. I've carried 4 biological children (birthed 3 of them), and all 4 pregnancies were very difficult for different reasons but I'm not sure what's worse... the pain, sickness, and impatience through my biological pregnancies or the pain I feel with this "paper" pregnancy. At least with my first ones, they were tucked away, right there in my belly, for no one to hurt. They were with me every minute until they could come home.

I don't expect this to get any easier. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that when we are finally matched I may spend most of my days in anguish over when we can go get our little bundle. Can someone please remind me to feed my family during that time?

Grumbling and "woe to me" aside, I am truly thankful that this process is so difficult. Easy is never satisfying or rewarding. The joy of being united with Emily Hope one day will be so much sweeter knowing what we went through to get to her. When Jesus set out to rescue us, "easy" was not on his mind. He hung on a tree, and suffered hell, in order that the Father could be united with us!

I don't want easy. But if you could pray that my hard would lead to a deeper faith in Christ, that's my desire. I don't want any of my pain to be in vein nor do I ever want to lose sight of how thankful I need to be for the "real", rather than the "easy". If I'm focused on who Christ is, then hard is doable... even peaceful. "And the peace of God, which trandscends all understanding, will guide your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)                 

Monday, September 16, 2013

LID 09/16/2013

LID!!! Today is our official "log-in date" with China! This means our dossier has been authenticated, sent to China by our social worker (DTC), and officially logged in to the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) database. For the past several months we have been working state-side through the home study process, Immigration approval, required coursework, etc. and now we enter a new realm... relationship with the Chinese government. Thankfully, our social worker will continue to act as a liaison. She, and the entire China team at Lifeline, are very experienced in all that needs to happen moving forward.

The next step will definitely end up being the most emotional experience thus far. We wait. But this time, we're not waiting on paperwork, government officials, stamps of approval, or reports. We now wait to receive a referral (deep breath). Not just a referral but a life. A little girl from halfway around the world will step in to our hearts very soon. I can only imagine the emotion that will overcome me when I stare in to the eyes of the little girl in that picture. They will be the eyes of our Emily Hope, the daughter we've been talking about, praying for, waiting to meet. Our lives will change drastically when we meet her on paper. Our world will be rocked. All of a sudden, we become terribly vulnerable yet incredibly sustained by our dependence on Him. It's at this point we realize there is no turning back. And we don't want to. God's call for us to adopt has suddently shifted to God's call to fight for our daughter. No, legally she won't be ours yet but at the moment God places her in our lives (even through a picture), she is ours. Period.

Will you please pray for us as we now wait for a referral? My prayer is first, for Emily Hope, wherever she may be. I pray that she is safe, protected from evil, that someone may hold and love her until we can get there. I pray for discernment on the day our referral arrives. I pray that God unites us with Emily Hope according to His will and timing.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


For my Emily Hope, for orphans around the globe, and for those who feel unwanted because they haven't met our Heavenly Father... You. Are. Wanted.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

An Amazing Day at Tales & Ales

As you know, we had a unique opportunity this past Saturday to participate in "Tales & Ales" at the New Orleans Fairgrounds. Not only did we participate but were chosen, by Blue Deuce Entertainment, to be the beneficiary of a craft beer raffle at the event. Between the raffle and selling our t-shirts at the event, we made $940 to go towards our adoption expenses! We can not believe that our fundraising thermometer now sits at over $18,000! As always, all praise and glory to God who is making this possible!

The fundraising at this event was an incredible blessing but even more of a blessing was the opportunity we had to share our story with so many people. It's a privilege to watch the surprise on people's faces as we reveal to them God's will in our lives and His plan for all of us. I'm sure that most people who attended this event were non-believers and it was awesome being planted in an environment where we could share good news with them and hopefully be a light. "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) Praying that people who heard our story gave praise to our Father!

I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to. Thankfully, we had our hands full! I must give one more special thank you to... BLUE DEUCE ENTERTAINMENT! Russell and Ashley Doussan, your willingness to put us above other beneficiaries is humbling and we are forever grateful for your love and support. The event was a hit... y'all throw a good party! ;-)

Our sign at the event

Craft beer for the raffle

Monday, September 9, 2013

DTC 09/09/2013

DTC!!!!! Our social worker notified us that our dossier authentication is complete and she has sent our DOSSIER TO CHINA! We are officially DTC today. The CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) will now log us in to their database and we will be notified when we have an official log-in date (LID). This generally takes between 1-3 weeks to receive. Stay tuned for an update containing our LID date... this will be another big step for us!

"Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!" (Psalm 150:2)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Adopt a Pie

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27)

That's God's call to every believer... to care for orphans and widows. It's simple. If we love the God who adopted us when we were (spiritual) orphans, the God who paid the ultimate price to have us in His home, then we will be compelled to love others with this same kind of love.

I understand how daunting the idea of adopting a child in to your home is. I'm there. I'm daunted. But you know our story is one where God stepped in and made a decision, not us. And I hope to encourage many of you, in the future, to discern if God may be calling you to this as well. For now, I'd like each of us to take a few steps back. Let's not focus on adoption (this may be the last time you hear me say that!).

I had the privilege of attending a ladies' gathering at Northshore Bible Church called "Adopt a Pie" last Monday evening. It involved an apron contest, a pie auction to benefit the McGinty adoption, and meeting some fantastic ladies. I can just hear each of you right about now... "aprons and pies on a Monday night, Woe... Laura is one wild and crazy lady!" I didn't win the "most unique apron" contest. In fact, I'm pretty sure I won the "probably shouldn't wear an apron... ever" title. What I did win was a beautiful cross necklace, handmade in Africa. Oh, and I "accidentally" won 2 pies in the auction... Oops!

The highlight of this night was a wonderful talk given by my friend, Angie McGinty. We heard about the McGinty's adoption story, the sad reality of so many orphans in need, and practical ways we can ALL help to fulfill God's will of caring for the "least of these." I am happy to write all about these ideas but I think I'd like to hand it over to Angie at this point. She wrote a beautiful blog post about what she shared at "Adopt a Pie." If you would, please take a few minutes to read her post and make the decision to help in one of these areas. http://themcgintysadopt.blogspot.com/2013/09/orphan-care-call-to-justice.html

Will you join me in grabbing hold of at least one of these this week?! Seamus and I are not in a position, at the moment, to give monetarily. We are obviously trying to save and raise funds for our own adoption. However, I commit to praying this week specifically for each of the organizations Angie mentions and for orphans around the world. I also commit to learning more about the foster care system, where there is a tremendous need right here in Louisiana. This may be a ministry God calls us to in the future and I'd love to start by learning more. Let's hold each other accountable. If you'd like to share what you are willing to commit to this week and beyond, I would love to encourage you on your journey!