Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This was an incredible Christmas for our family. We were so excited about our first Christmas as parents and Kiir was excited to see what he would find under the tree. He wanted to shake the boxes and guess. I told him we didn't play a guessing game because if he guessed right it wouldn't be a surprise. That didn't stop him from still shaking them and asking questions. :)

On Christmas morning, he got to partake in a tradition Kelly and I started a few years ago of only giving each other 3 gifts to symbolize the 3 gifts the wise men brought Jesus. At first he thought this was a little unfair...only 3 presents?! However, after we explained that they would always be good gifts and that his grandparents did not abide by this rule, all was okay. From us, he got his senior ring, a Bible with his new name engraved on it, and wait for it....a nerf gun. He and Kelly were very excited about the last one and decided to make it a tradition to always get a new nerf gun each Christmas. His senior ring was a nice way to be able to show him how proud we are of his hard work in school to be able to graduate this year.

For Christmas Eve, we went over to Nana & Papa's house. Kiir got to play video games with his uncle Shane and go do some last minute shopping with him too! That afternoon, we got to watch Miracle on 34th Street and introduce that tradition to Kiir. Then we ate and opened presents. It was a nice and relaxing time with all of them. Kiir's favorite part was that he got a new pair of soccer cleats from Nana & Papa!On Christmas day, we got to wake up, look in stockings and eat breakfast pizza casserole. Then we opened presents. It was a cherished first Christmas together for all of us! After we got ready, we went over to grandma & grandpa's house. We opened presents with them and Kiir screamed like a little kid when he opened an Xbox game because that meant that he got an Xbox. We had a fun time hanging out with Kelly's immediate and extended family: eating, playing basketball, and ending with the traditional game of spoons. It was a wonderful Christmas. The best part was as we drove out of the driveway on our way home Kiir said "I feel like a millionaire." "Why," I asked. "Because I got everything for Christmas off of my list! That's never happened before!"

The three of us are looking forward to many more Christmas' to come!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Making it Official

"Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from Him."
Psalm 127:3

December 21 was an amazing day for not just us, but our families too. In all domestic adoption cases, you have to go before a judge before you can have all of the legal rights as a parent. Most of the time, the child has to be in your home for 6 months or more before you can do this. However, most people that know us know that we don't ever do anything the way your supposed to do it! See, Kiir turns 18 on January 1st and we had to consummate the adoption before his 18th birthday. So after only a little over 2 months, we were standing before the judge. It was so wonderful to have so many family members with us: Kelly's parents & sister, my parents & grandparents; along with our case manager and CPS workers that have been with us along this journey. The judge was so great. He even let us take pictures with him! Here are a few more:

And of course, we had to take some goofy ones too!

It was a fun and happy day...especially after the court hearing. We got to goof off in the lobby (as you can see), sign the official decree stating that we are now Kiir's legal parents, and then go out to eat at Esperanza's for breakfast! YUM! After that, we spent the day celebrating the Carson family way: we went to the theater to watch a 3D movie. :) After that, we went to half price to look around and then came back home again and hung out. It was such a wonderful day that Kiir decided to start calling it "Happy Kiir Day"! Happy Kiir Day is now going to be an annual event and is already on the calendar for December 21, 2011. Here is a last picture (and our favorite) to commemorate the day:

Monday, December 20, 2010


For most "soon to be" parents, I would assume they anticipate the day that they would get their first sonogram, followed by the day that the labor pains begin and they are rushing off to the hospital to deliver their first born child. For us, this anticipation took a different form. We anticipated our adoption agency picking out a child for us, followed by getting to read a short paragraph about him. Then we would get to meet him, shake his hand, hug him. Next he would get to decide if he wanted us as parents and then move in. After a few months of getting to know each other and bond, we would get to go before a judge and become his parents. That day is tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will get to show Kiir how much we love him, care about him and want to be there for him for the rest of his life. Today he and I got to spend a lot of time just hanging out together. I asked him what he was looking forward to most and he said "getting to go out to eat afterward." I then asked what he was not looking forward to and he said "having to see a judge and wearing a tie and suit." It must be such an odd thing getting new parents at the age of 17. I can't imagine all of the things he might be thinking. However, I do know that he is happy about tomorrow and that makes me smile. At 8:30am, we will get to tell a judge that we want to be Kiir's parents and after about 15 minutes, it will be official. That must be the shortest labor pains in history! Hahaha

I am so excited, I honestly do not know how well I will sleep tonight! As I type I'm drinking a cup of mint tea to help me relax, but I don't think it's working. However, it's getting late and I better head that way. So, good night, sweet dreams and I'll post about tomorrow and for the first time, get to upload pictures so stay tuned!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thanksgiving and more...

I know, Thanksgiving has come and gone a long time ago. However, we have been so busy that I have not had free time to sit down and blog about it! So here it goes:

We took our first road trip as a family to the great town of Brownwood, Texas! Yes, I know that Kiir's friends were so envious of this trip and so he told everyone he met where we were Just kidding. He did think it was cool that we were going "to the country" as Kelly put it, but when we got there he wanted to know where all of the cows and horses and chickens were. Kelly had to explain that while this was considered "the country" to him, it's really a big "small town."

That weekend, Kiir got to spend time with family and meet some he had never met before. We celebrated Meme's 75th Birthday and ate Thanksgiving food. Kiir thought the best part was eating all of the food, along with playing domino's with his Uncle Shane & cousins Ryan & Laurie.

The most special part of the weekend was that Kiir called me mom for the first time...well kind of! When they were playing dominoes, Kiir caught them cheating and he told them he was going to make them stop by telling his mama and then proceeded to scream "MAMA" across the house! I will say it wasn't what I had expected to be called, but my heart warmed ever so hearing those words be called to me!!! Since then he has called me mom several times and yes, my heart melts each and every time. :)

For Thanksgiving this year, we were able to host it and have family over to our house. Since we had the traditional Thanksgiving meal just a few days prior, we decided we would cook a brisket w/fixings that day instead. Come 11am when Kiir was looking around the kitchen, he wanted to know where all of the food was. When I explained what we were eating he got really sad and disappointed at the fact that we weren't having the same food he got to eat earlier that week. I felt so bad and promised him that we would eat that for Christmas! He insisted that was not early enough for him. However, after eating the BBQ, he decided that he LOVED potato much so that the next day when we ate leftovers, he called his Papa to figure out why he took Kiir's favorite part of the meal home with him instead of leaving it! LOL It was a nice time of making memories with family.

The next day (or really at 10pm that night), we got to introduce Kiir to another tradition: Black Friday Shopping. He had heard of this "crazy thing", but never taken part. Kelly's mom has been doing this for over 10 years and we have tried to use this day to shop for every family member in one shot through this organized chaos. Kiir decided this was going to be worth at least seeing one time. So we geared up and left our house around 9ish to head over to Arlington. When we got to Kelly's parents house, we got a game plan of what stores we would go to and what gifts we were getting. Kiir had fun just looking at the ads and picking out things he wanted! At 2am, we made our way back to the house with some coffee & hot chocolate and Kiir fell asleep. We decided to give him a break when we went back out 2 hours later, but then woke him up for some other shopping early that morning. When we got home in time to eat an early lunch, he decided that he had changed his mind about this midnight shopping! People were crazy and it was cold! He decided that he would rather be at home in bed next year...but then added that if he got to shop for himself it might be more fun! Hehehe

All in all, it was a wonderful week of hanging out with family and making memories. More to come soon!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Friendships

Tonight we had such a fun experience. Our church (First Baptist Irving) supports a ministry called "His Voice" that reaches out to spread the Gospel to the Sudanese. We got to learn about what is going on over there right now, the work they are doing in villages and the mission work all over Southern Sudan. We were excited to meet Vernon and Amber Burger, the couple that runs His Voice. They have such a heart for the Sudan and ministering to the people there. The best part was getting to meet and speak with Victor, a guy that grew up in Southern Sudan and is living here while he attends college. He works with His Voice, and of course still gets to go back to Sudan to visit his family. After Wednesday night prayer service was over, we got to talk with Victor about tons of stuff. Kiir and Victor spoke in different languages, talked about life over there and we learned so much in just the few minutes Kelly and I were able to listen in. We will definitely be hanging out with Victor again so we can learn more...and Kiir and Victor can hang out. I think he enjoyed talking with someone he could relate to! Also, Victor said he'd teach me how to cook some Sudanese food so I'm stoked about that!

On another note, this weekend we get to travel to Brownwood for my grandmother's 75th birthday celebration! We are excited to introduce Kiir to more family members and show him where I grew up and spent my childhood holidays. It was be a special time and also will be our first family road trip! Fun times ahead...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Our "Teen" Shower

A few weeks ago, teachers on my 3rd grade team approached me about hosting a shower to celebrate the new addition to our family in some form or fashion. They came up with a "teen" shower concept and I thought it was so cute! They were very secretive about everything, until they needed to know if Kiir was going to be able to come. It was then that I found out that a mom of one of my students is from Ethiopia and wanted to bring Ethiopian food for us to all enjoy at the shower! Imagine my surprise and excitement! So I asked Kiir if he wanted to come and when he found out that Ethiopian food was going to be served he said YES!

So today was the party day and when I walked in, they had books from all over Africa on every table as decor, along with a huge sheet cake with an Ethiopian flag on it. They also had the best sweet tea in the world: Chick-fil-A! Then my student's mom walked in with the Ethiopian food and boy did it smell and taste so good! Kiir walked over after school (as is his daily ritual) a little later and when he saw the flag, he thought it was the coolest thing ever! He didn't know you could do that to cakes. Then he smelled the Ethiopian food and was so excited to make a plate for himself.

It was such a blessing to have the opportunity to tell everyone about Kiir and how we came to adopt him. God constantly provides such amazing opportunities to bring glory to Him and I thank Him daily for the testimony He has trusted me with! As pictures floated around, I was able to be the proud mom and gloat over my baby (yes, he is still my baby even if he is 17)! :) My mom was also able to come and be a part of this celebration! I'm so glad she could be the Nana and enjoy being a grandparent. The wonderful individuals that I have the pleasure of working with also happen to be great friends! I am so blessed by their love and support and cannot imagine working with anyone else. They are an amazing group of caring and kind people! I am extremely blessed in so many ways!

"Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness." Psalm 115: 1

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Our Fishing Adventure and more...

This past weekend Kiir got to meet his Nana & Papa (my parents), Meme & Pepaw (my grandparents), and Uncle Shane (my brother). We got invited to go out to my mom's coworker's family ranch outside of Wills Point. When we got there, Kiir was the first one that got his pole baited up. After less than 10 minutes (while others were still getting their poles ready), Kiir had a bite on his line and it was a strong one! He reeled it in and he had an 18" catfish hooked! Luckily, I had my camera handy and took several pictures between him catching it, reeling it in and holding it up. The one with him holding the fish, while showing his pearly whites, will definitely be framed and displayed! Over the next 3 hours, we caught 10 fish combined; but since we did not come very prepared we ended up releasing them back into the pond. Afterward, we headed back to Nana & Papa's house to eat the steaks that Papa grilled and celebrate Uncle Shane's birthday. When Kiir and I went shopping Shane's birthday a few days earlier, Kiir insisted on getting him a gift only from Kiir and another gift from Kelly and I. He was so excited for Shane to open the gift he picked out at the end of the night. I just adore his sweet heart! As we left, Kiir wanted to know when we were going to go fishing again and this time with a cooler and fillet knife! :)

On Sunday, we went up to our church for "Fall-A-Palooza". At first, Kiir did not want to dress up because "that's for kids and he's a man". But when he saw Kelly and I both dressed up, he decided that he could at least go put on the soccer jersey we got him with his cleats and soccer gear. We all had a lot of fun, but Kiir had a blast taking pictures with everyone that he ran into! I think we got 1 picture of us as a family verses the 50 of him with other I wish I could post the pictures so you could smile like I do when I see them, but that will have to wait until December when CPS no longer has their rules about all of that.

Today we finished looking over the paperwork for the attorney finalizing our adoption in court. The week before Christmas, we will finally be his legal parents! Although if you ask him, he wondered why the courts still have to be involved since he's our son now...:) Comments like that just make my heart swell with love!

Tomorrow my fellow coworkers are throwing us a "Teen Shower". The story behind all of this is so sweet that I'm going to wait and blog about it separately. Stay tuned for more after tomorrow!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How Time Flies

I can't believe it's been so long since I sat down to the computer to blog! Time is flying by and I don't know where it has gone! Okay, well I do know where it has gone...but I'm enjoying all of it so it seems to have flown by! :)

Kiir's first week of school went really well. The soccer team embraced him and his teachers are very supportive! We could not ask for more. I have also learned that life as a mom is very busy as we try to attend all of the youth events at church and introduce Kiir to friends and family!

Last weekend went a little like this...Friday night we watched the Rangers beat the Yankees and get into the World Series (with Kelly cheering and Kiir booing). Then we went up to church for 5th Quarter and play games until around midnight. Kiir even won a gift card at 5th Quarter! Saturday morning I went to Tapestry's Adoption Conference while Kelly and Kiir played soccer and did chores around the house. After the conference was over, Kiir got to meet his Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Kendra. We went bowling and then came back to the house to play Apples to Apples. I love that game already, but Kiir has an incredible sense of humor and I was laughing so hard all night that my stomach hurt by the end! Sunday we had church, followed by lunch with friends, and a meeting with our caseworker to see how everything is going. After that, Kiir went to play football with some of the guys & workers in youth while Kelly and I went to our adoption support group. We got to share pictures and stories of our new son with others that have walked a version of our story before. I can't explain how rewarding it is to fellowship with them and gain wisdom from people that have been through this also! Monday night, we went to a youth Cowboys vs. Giants game watching party and you would know that Kiir is not only a NY Yankee's fan, but also a NY Giants fan! He insisted on making a sign, which meant cutting a piece of cardboard and handing it to me to make a sign for him in "pretty handwriting" saying "Go Giants, Beat the Cowboys". I guess his sign All in all, it was a very fun weekend, but I am ready for a slower-paced one!

This weekend, Kiir gets to meet his Nana, Papa, Uncle Shane, Meme & Pepaw. We're going to go fishing and celebrate Uncle Shane's birthday. Today we went shopping for his present and Kiir had to get something just from him. He is so incredibly thoughtful! Kiir, however, is most excited about the fishing because he hasn't been in a long time. I sure hope we catch something!

Well, today marked 2 weeks since Kiir officially moved in! It has been so much fun and I absolutely love being his mom! He makes me laugh, cry (while laughing) and makes me wish that I knew him his entire life. I cherish the time we have after school when he hangs out with me in my room and on the way home. I know it will end soon, with Kiir being a Senior and all, but I hope time slows down a little so I can soak it all in. I am so blessed to be his mom! Every day I thank God for him.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Beginnings

This weekend was full of relaxing, hanging out and preparing for Kiir's first day of school. Friday night we all watched the Ranger/Yankee baseball game. Kiir is a Yankee's fan so he was excited with the result and gave Kelly a hard time the next day. Saturday we got to wake up and play soccer again. It was fun to go with them and take pictures of Kelly & Kiir playing soccer together. We got some great "frame-able" moments! Saturday afternoon was filled with nap time and watching the Rangers beat the Yankees, to which Kelly was able to give Kiir a hard time back! Saturday night we rented the movie "God Grew Tired of Us" which is about the Lost Boys of the Sudan. Kiir is from the same area and it was neat for him to understand what they were saying! It was also great to be able to mute some of it and hear his stories from the Sudan and Ethiopia. If you are interested in learning more about the civil war of Sudan, refugee camps or the Lost Boys, this is a great documentary about it all!

Sunday was a great day at church! Kiir got to meet more students and so many people came up to meet him after service. I have never felt more love flow from people than yesterday! We were invited to go play "American football" ;) with a group from church and Kiir was very excited about going. After a lazy Sunday afternoon, we all headed to the park. Kelly and Kiir were on opposite teams so they got to play against each other. It was quite humorous! They are both so athletic and competitive and I was the proud mom/wife! I also was incredibly proud of the church family we have surrounding us. I don't think they could have made Kiir feel more welcome/at home around them! On the way home he was excited about playing next week already (even though he had some bumps and bruises from rolling around on the ground) and going to a couple youth events this week.

Today is his first day of school at MAC. Don't worry, I pulled the embarrassing mom thing and took a picture of him at the house before leaving! :D I know this might sound weird, but I don't have pictures of him on his first day of school growing up and since he's a senior, this was my last chance! So I had to take one! Then we took off for school to register for his classes. We found out that the soccer coach said to put him in soccer instead of PE so he could already start working out with the team! Praise God for taking care of the tiniest details yet again! As we were looking at the school map and highlighting where his classes were, I knew I was about to have to leave him to fend for himself. I then realized what every mom goes through the first day of school...although for most I'm sure it's their kindergarten year, not their child's senior year! I gave him a hug and told him to have a great day. Then I turned to leave him and tried to hold back my tears as I got in the car and drove away. I'm quite certain he is just fine as he has had many first days of school, but this is my first day leaving him! I'm sure he'll have a fantastic day and I hope to hear all about it when I pick him up. 3:45 cannot come quick enough today!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Moving In!

Yesterday, Kiir became our son! He moved in and we got to unpack all of his stuff into his new room. Then we sat down and went through all of CPS's paperwork, our agency's paperwork and signed off on everything. It was like buying a house, but better! :) When we were completely finished, we got to inventory everything he had, what he needed and decided we should go shopping! We had fun getting things at Target, Rack Room Shoes and Ross. We even ran into our friend Karen while shopping! We were able to introduce Kiir as our son for the first time. What a great feeling!

After shopping, we came back home and I cooked dinner. Kiir keeps telling us how much he loves orange chicken with noodles, so I made that for our dinner. Kelly insisted that I make him my bread pudding for dessert since that was Kelly's favorite. I don't know if orange chicken and bread pudding are the best match for dinner, but it was good nonetheless. While I was cooking, Kelly and Kiir washed the car and then played a game of 1 on 1 basketball and Kiir won! The best part of the day (besides signing all of the papers) was when Kiir told me stories about where he has lived in the Sudan and Ethiopia. He is so incredibly smart to remember everything he does and it was precious to hear about his childhood before we knew him.

Today we woke up and went to MAC to enroll him and go on a tour of the school. We were all very nervous about the transfer, TAKS, credits and classes working out so he could graduate on time. However, the counselor and other staff were able to work everything out so that he can take everything he wants and graduate on time (Spring 2011)! He was ecstatic! We also had the dreaded and anticipated visit to the orthopedic surgeon to release him officially to play sports from a surgery he had last year. After waiting for a long time, the doctor finally said okay! Kiir is very eager to try out for soccer in the next few weeks, and to workout in the meantime! I cannot express how exciting this day was and how much praise we gave our Lord for taking care of even the tiniest little details to make this school year perfect!

I never knew that the feeling of being a mom was so powerful. You hear that when mother's give birth it is an experience like no other and there is an instant bond. Well, I can tell you that when we signed papers (both Kelly and I, along with Kiir) I could feel my heart enlarge with an enormous and powerful love. My son might not look like I do, but he is my son and I love him more than I could even imagine was possible! It just reminded me how much our Lord and Savior loves us since we are His adopted sons and daughters!!! With a pot of chili simmering for dinner and the Rangers vs. Yankee's game on tonight, we are excited to spend a Friday night at home as a family!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bonding Time

After eating some wonderful Ethiopian food and gelato Thursday night, we were excited to pick him up on Friday for the weekend! The soccer jersey we got him was a little big, so our first stop was back to the Soccer Premier store to exchange for a smaller size. When we were there, we found out that they could put any player's name & number on the back with the actual stuff they put on professional jerseys so we had that done with his favorite player. He was stoked! While they worked on pressing the jersey we were able to walk around the store and learn a lot more about his love: soccer.

We then we got to come back to our house and show him around. He was excited to see his room and bathroom, learn more about the renovations we did on the house, and our future plans for it. As soon as he saw the ping pong table, he asked Kelly if they could play. I think they played 4 or 5 matches (over an hour) and I had to pull them away to eat lunch. After lunch we decided to head to the Fort Work Museum of Science and History. We walked around, got to play in the inventor's studio and went to an IMAX film. Driving there and back also gave us some time to learn more about each other. On the way home we were able to go up to the school he would attend and at least drive around so he could see what it looks like. When we got home we decided to order a pizza and rent a movie. Overall, it was a fun and relaxing day!

On Saturday, he and Kelly got up to go play soccer with some friends from church. After lunch, we decided to try and have a somewhat "normal" day and go grocery shopping. Of course, grocery shopping for us is a little different from most people. We ran by Walmart for basic items, another store for my face wash, and then to Costco for our monthly supply of staples. It was fun to see what kinds of food he likes to eat and to try some of the samples. We also ran into an old caseworker of his and got to meet him! That was really neat! At dinner that evening, we were able to share with him our story and why we wanted to become his parents. It was a really nice moment we will forever cherish. After dinner, we played rock band as a family for a couple of hours. It was his first time to play and by the end he was getting the hang of the drums. We had a lot of fun!

Sunday we went to church as a family and introduced him to some of the youth. After lunch, he and Kelly got ready for the Cowboy's game. Kelly's parents gave us their season tickets for Sunday's game so they could go together. They got some great pictures of the two of them at the stadium together and with a Ferrari they passed by. It was great father-son bonding time! :)

When they returned, we hopped in the car to take him back to his current home. On the way, however, my car started making a ticking sound. About halfway there on I-35 in Dallas, my car started humming and I lost the ability to accelerate. I pulled off the road and my check engine light came on, followed by the entire car shutting down. We pushed it into a gas station and it started smoking like crazy! We called his foster dad to come and pick him up since we obviously were not going to be able to take him home. Then we called our insurance to get us a tow. I am so thankful that God took care of us and let us end up in a well-lit, safe area while we waited. It also gave us an opportunity to show him how Kelly and I handle stress and that no matter what, everything will always be okay and taken care of as we trust in our ultimate Provider!

Even though it was an interesting end to our weekend together, it was a wonderful weekend nonetheless! When everything is more final I will post the pictures you have all been asking me to see! :) He wanted to take lots of pictures throughout the weekend so we have some great ones of us all! We are excited about later this week as he gets to move in and we start our journey now living together as a family!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Today was the ever anticipated day that we got to finally meet him! We got to learn more about his interests, taste in food, and soccer! I was so glad that he shares our interest in the many kinds of food we like. If you know Kelly and I, we love everything from Indian, to Mexican, to Sushi...and he loves all of them and more! Tomorrow night we are going to a new cultural restaurant that we are all excited about. And of course afterward, we're taking him to our favorite place for dessert (gelato): Paciugo!

There were so many things that we talked about and it was just fun. I can't explain how I felt except to say that God designed this exact moment before we knew it would ever exist because it was so perfect! We brought him a gift because we knew he loved soccer (a jersey from a popular premier league in England) and it happen to be his favorite team! He was so shocked to see it and it was just the icing on the cake. Although the hugs he gave us before we left might have topped the jersey to us! I can't wait to spend tomorrow night and the weekend together as a family!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Night Before...

Today is such an exciting day! His adoption case worker was able to tell him about us, show him the book and video we made, and give him the letter we wrote. Apparently one of his first questions was "When do I get to meet them?" She said he was really excited needless to say! Later this evening we got to call and talk with him. It was so fun to hear his personality and some of the questions he had for us. Tomorrow we get to meet him for the first time!!! I cannot explain the emotions regarding that meeting...let's just say I think we're all nervously excited!

It has now been over a year since we started this journey and I am amazed at everything God has done every step of the way! I know our life might not seem "normal", but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

All Hands on Deck

Friday's meeting went really well! We got to ask lots of questions to everyone involved (10 people were there!) and not once did I feel an inkling of anxiety or hesitation. Praise Him! Sometimes it's hard to believe that this is our life...that God trusted us to do something so extraordinary for His glory!

At the end of the meeting, we got to watch a video he made about himself and why he wants to be adopted. I had so many emotions during that time, but the strongest one was just a desire to finally get to meet him in person! It's amazing how God has guided and directed us throughout this entire situation that it is now so easy just to continue to follow and trust Him every step of the way.

As this week unfolds, we are looking forward to the next step in this exciting adventure!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31

This is and has been one of my favorite Bible verses since high school. With Friday's meeting coming up very quickly (and with everything going on the past few weeks), waiting upon the LORD is definitely coming to life!

Last weekend we got to meet with both sets of our parents over lunch and explain the next few steps to them. Keep in mind that with this adoption, they will become grandparents for the FIRST time! So over lunch we talked about what they wanted to be called (grandparent names), how they would get to meet their future grandchild and what that would look like. Some funny comments that came out of this were "Wait a minute, you mean we've waited this long to become grandparents and you could be grandparents when you are in your 30's?" and "So we become grandparents and then in 5-10 years could be great-grandparents". They are completely supportive, but it has to be a very weird thing for them to have a teenage boy as their first grandchild instead of holding an infant in the hospital. The only reassurance we can offer them is that our actions are directed from the Lord!

Preparing for this process has been interestingly fun. In June we started attending a support group through Tapestry. It's made up of other families that have adopted older children and has been a great source of information and encouragement to us! Who knew there were other people that God has called to a journey similar to ours! We are also excited about going to their annual conference again this year. We're even bringing our parents along!

In addition, we have been blessed to have a few friends start their journey down a very similar road. It's been amazing to see God's hand working! In light of this, our church (First Baptist Irving) began to see the need to offer something for these families. Luckily, we have an incredible resource (Adrienne Sittig) who worked for Buckner Children's Home for many years. Adrienne started teaching a 5 week series during our church's bi-annual Equipping University classes. It has been awesome learning more and fellowshipping with others going down this path with us! We are also looking into starting a support group/respite care network within our church as others complete their certification and start to get placements. In addition, Embrace is working with our church to try and help reach the needs that are starting to present themselves. There is so much going on and yet it's all super exciting!

We could not ask for anything else than what our friends and family have done to support us through their friendship and prayers! We really do appreciate all of it! We'll keep you posted as Friday is coming soon (TOMORROW)!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Beginning - Part 2

Originally (before changing our minds to foster care), we had gotten on TARE's website and looked at teenage boys that were up for adoption. One really caught our attention. So when we changed our status from foster care to matched adoption in June 2010, we put our name in the hat for him. However, he had decided that he did not want to be adopted anymore and took his name off of the list. We knew that God just wanted us to take this leap of faith and that submitting our name for that boy was doing just that. It was at this point that we decided to tell our adoption case manager that we knew God was calling us to adopt a teenage boy, but we were going to leave the rest of the narrowing down part to her. She had our home study to read through and we were going to trust her to pick out the perfect child for us!

We got a call a few weeks later, on July 16, telling us she was putting our name in for a child and she was going to send us an email with more information. Just reading the email drew us closer to his story. We have been praying for him and God's will in his life and our life since that day. The month of September was a month full of prayer and patience. We know that God was just preparing our hearts and our lives for His perfect timing.

Three weeks ago, CPS, the foster parent and our adoption case manager held a selection hearing for this boy. We got a phone call the next day informing us that we were the selected family for him. Kelly went and picked up his case file and we began to read and pray over it. After reading everything, we have decided to move forward with him and have scheduled our selection hearing for this Friday. A selection hearing is when the child's foster parent, case manager, CPS representative, adoption attorneys, our adoption case manager and the two of us attend a meeting to ask lots of questions and seek what is best for the child. We will have 24 hours after that meeting to make a decision whether or not we want to move forward. WOW! Can you imagine having to decide whether or not you want a child! As Kelly put it, he just wishes they would give us one and say "Okay, take this one home...he now belongs to you." I mean, that's how it happens when you get pregnant...God is the one that really picked them out for you (matched them to you) anyway so why not do the same with adoption? LOL

Needless to say, we will be following God's guidance and direction as we seek his will. And as our agency (Covenant Kids) puts it at trainings "There is a no return policy on children." That makes me laugh every time!

Thanks for following our journey! We are now up to date and are excited about the super near future coming our way!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Beginning of the Journey

Wow, where to start? I guess we would need to go back a little of a year ago in June 2009. Kelly and I had been trying to have children for over a year at that time. We had gone through every single test available, and there was nothing wrong. It was at this point that we realized God had different plans for us. At the same exact time, we both individually felt God tugging at our hearts to start thinking about adoption. This was hard at first, because nothing was wrong and we knew that we should just keep trying and we would get pregnant one day, but again, God kept tugging harder and harder. After about a month of feeling this way, we finally started to talk with one another about what we were feeling. It was definitely a crazy conversation as we realized not only were we both feeling called to adopt, but we BOTH felt God calling us to adopt a teenage boy! (I'll pause now for your gasp of "what!?!?").

It was incredibly reassuring that we weren't completely crazy in our thoughts since we now knew it was coming from Him! So we started our research regarding what this path was exactly. We found out that Tapestry, an adoption & foster care ministry, was putting on their annual conference in October. We were very interested in learning more about all of this in general and answering some of our questions. So we went and were filled with excitement, encouragement, and a little bit of fear about the path that was ahead. We decided at this point to start looking more into foster care because we were not parents already and did not feel equipped to become instant parents of a teenager. By becoming foster parents, we would gain more experience in raising children. The next step was to pick out an agency and attend trainings/get certified.

In January 2010, we attended trainings and became certified with Covenant Kids. After completing all of the 80+ pages of paper work, we had our Home Study in March. We decided that we would open our house up to 1 teenage boy since that is what we felt called to from the beginning. Over the next few weeks, we were super excited to receive a placement in the house! When May rolled around, we were wondering why we didn't have a placement yet. Around this time, through my prayers and quiet time, I started feeling a very heavy conviction that we were not living in God's perfect will! Kelly and I talked about it and realized that while what we were aiming to do through foster care was a "good" thing and more practical in the eyes of the world, it was not what God had called us to do! We prayed about it a lot and realized that originally, God had called us to adopt a teenage boy, not to foster one. So we changed from being foster parents, to now being put on the list for a matched adoption in June 2010.

Stay tuned for more to come...