thankful.

Thanksgiving has come & gone…and I’m just getting around to blogging about what I’m thankful for this year. I went to my parents for several days (Chris had to make a much quicker trip because of work…) and was enjoying my time just hanging out and relaxing with them. Since then I’ve been taking care of bills and grocery shopping and laundry and church decorating and putting up our tree. This time of year is always busy busy!

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“Chris & I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and all of it is because of and thanks to our loving God. This year I have learned an important lesson about being thankful for the trials and struggles God allows into our life. He weaves good through all circumstances for those who are called according to His purpose, and as His plan for us continues to unfold I will give Him all glory and praise.  We are so blessed by our families, and we’re thankful we’ve been able to share time with both fams this Thanksgiving season. God is stretching all of us!” ~ my Thanksgiving Facebook post

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Our decision to adopt has not been “made public“…no big, official announcements or anything. We told our immediate families when we decided to send in the pre-application to an agency, as well as the friends we needed as references. From there, we’ve told our closest friends, and at Thanksgiving we finished up telling our families. We haven’t sworn anyone to secrecy or anything like that {we can use all the prayer we can get!} and so I know that in certain circles, especially at church, it is becoming more common knowledge. Right now we’re just kind of in this weird state of limbo…we know that this is God’s calling on our family, so we felt excited & ready to share that with our close family & friends. At the same time, we don’t have our agency orientation until February, and even after that we have a big application to get through before we are officially “accepted.” So for that reason, it seems a bit premature to just put it out there for everyone to know & ask about.

I’m trying not to overanalyze the timing of it all…just trusting in God’s leading for each step, for when it’s the right time to tell our different circles. One thing I definitely do *not* want to do is hide this light…God is working and I want to acknowledge that when opportunities arise.

But like I said. I’m not overanalyzing anything.

Ha!

I was very thankful that Chris & I had a chance to sit down with my family the night before Thanksgiving & talk about everything. It was the first time we had all been together…maybe since the official diagnosis, definitely since the decision to pursue adoption. Although we’ve known of people who have adopted, no one in our family has, so it’s a new experience for all of us. My brother & his fiancée had a few questions about the process and the timeline, but mostly they just reiterated how excited they are to be an uncle & aunt one day. {They’ll be great!}

As we talked through some of the fears we’ve had and emotions we’ve experienced in this process, my mom & dad were so supportive and did all they could to alleviate what fears they could and validate our feelings. All of this involves and affects more than just us…and so it was just really encouraging to have them look us in the eyes and clearly speak to the way they feel about our decision & how they feel about the baby that will one day bless our family.

They also spoke a lot of truth to us…we didn’t skirt around anything. For example, my dad made a point of saying that one day, when my brother & Jessica decide to start a family, it won’t matter how our babies came into our family versus how theirs come into our family…they’ll all be our babies and no difference would be shown. He also acknowledged that, while it will probably be a little bit of a hard reminder for Chris & I about our infertility, no one would walk around on pins and needles around us because of that. “We will be crazy excited about your babies, and we will be crazy excited about their babies,” he said. {Which is kind of funny, because I’ve never heard him use the phrase ‘crazy excited.’ Ha!}

It was good to hear that reassurance, it was good to hear that accountability.

I read once, at the start of all this, that a danger that couples with infertility issues can face is that everyone walks on eggshells around them when it comes to babies. No one tries to hold them accountable for their wrong attitudes or when they are getting stuck in the dark spots or when they expect the world to stop because it feels like theirs has. Most people feel as though they don’t have any room to talk, enough experience to speak from, or that they’ll sound cold hearted.

It’s funny how comforting accountability can be. To hear my dad say that let me know that he loves me too much to let me act that way, and served as a reminder that through all things, we need to look outside of ourselves and our own personal situation. In a family it’s not just about one person or one little unit…and there is so much security in knowing that there is a plainly stated expectation & belief that we will love all of our babies & be excited about them all the same, whether they are blood or not.

Mom & I have already talked through a lot, but it was a really good thing for us all to sit down and get on the same page. Lots of honest conversation about feelings {go Dad & bro, I was proud of y’all for that!}, a few tears on all of our parts, and a little dreaming about what it will be like when our family grows by two little feet. Good stuff! 🙂

Of course, there was talk about how we plan on saving up & paying the adoption fees…plus what we need to do to get ready for the actual baby. Beginning stages on all of that, but we’ve got some time to get the money in order and have some thinking to do about what the best way to go about gathering everything will be. I expect we’ll get some helpful tips from the agency regarding that during our orientation.

So…yeah. I am so thankful for that open conversation and for the support & excitement we’ve received from both of our families and our friends. We still have feelings regarding our infertility that we are working on reconciling, but at the same time God is speaking through those close to us to validate His calling and propel us forward.

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Today is the first day of the advent study that I’m doing to prepare my heart for Christmas, and it was about God being the Alpha and Omega. I draw a lot of strength from knowing that God IS, that we are never without Him, that there is no part of our past, present, or future that He doesn’t hold in His palm.

I’m thankful for that part of God’s nature.

Blessed am I.

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P.S. – This post was kind of here-and-there anyway, so I’ll just go ahead and add one more thing to the mix. My uncle & his wife brought their new baby by our house for Thanksgiving. She was a little doll; I was so happy to meet her. I asked how old she was now, and when they responded 9 1/2 weeks it transported me back to the day she was born. That was the same day we had our last meeting with the fertility specialist and received our official diagnosis. It’s crazy to think of all that we’ve faced & worked through in the last 9 1/2 weeks, and I look forward to seeing where we are in the next 9 1/2 weeks. That will lead us almost right up to our orientation.

God is good. He was 10 weeks ago, He is today, and He will be in 10 more weeks. I’m so thankful He is walking through this with us.

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