Monday, January 31, 2011

Totally Random

There is so much going on as we approach the end of this pregnancy. I can't believe in just a few short weeks we will have another member in our family, but I also can't wait! I have been having contractions since around 20 weeks of pregnancy (they would go away with rest), but just here in the last week they have increased significantly in number and intensity which has made me feel like I really need to get everything ready just in case this little one wants to come early.

So this weekend we got the crib all set up in our room. As you can see it is missing a side :) This is our version of "co-sleeping". The baby will be right by me in bed so that I can check on him/her neurotically and when the baby is ready to eat, I won't even have to get out of bed, just pick them up and put them in bed with me! The baby will also be nice and safe. When we co-slept with Malachi it was hard to sleep because I was always afraid of rolling into him or I was worried that Peter (the heavy sleeper) would elbow him since I have been the recipient of an elbow on more than one occasion :) This set up should work well for the first few months until baby starts to roll over and hopefully by then, Malachi will be in his new big boy room and we will be able to shift this little one into the nursery.

Another thing I noticed after setting this up is that if we have a girl, we will need to do some serious pink shopping :) We really didn't want to spend anymore money on bedding or receiving blankets so for now we are using what we have - hey, we have a 50/50 chance that blue is the right color!

My goal this week is to get most of the hospital bag packed. I have a good list and just need to gather all the things together to put in it, make sure all the camera's are charged and ready to go. I also need to get a bag packed for Malachi to have at Grandma's house and I need to make Peter pack a few things and snacks for himself.
In Malachi randomness. I had a horrible dream about him the other night. I was dreaming that for some reason we had to take him back to Ethiopia and leave him there, but someday we would be able to come back for him. It was the worst dream ever and I woke up in an almost panic attack and my heart was racing and I was breathing really heavy but I was so thankful it was just a dream.

After that dream, I took it as a special treat yesterday when he cuddled up with me for a nap. These times are becoming infrequent as he is getting more mobile and independent. Every once and awhile he will fall asleep while eating a bottle, but he really does fall asleep best in his crib. Yesterday I laid down on the couch with him and fed him and he fell right to sleep and we cuddled and slept for a good 30 minutes - it was one of those perfect moments! After the 30 minutes he started moving around a little bit so I figured he would finish his nap best in his crib. Getting off the couch from a lying down position, being almost 9 months pregnant with a 9 month old in my arms proved to be quite the challenge, but I made it up, all by myself :)

Malachi is also entering this new phase where he whines all the time. If he wants picked up, he whines (I am trying to teach him "up"). Instead of saying numnums like he was saying when he wanted to eat, now he whines. His "all done" sign at meals is now accompanied with whines. When he sees a toy across the room he wants, instead of crawling over to it he has to whine WHILE crawling over to it. I know this is just a new phase with him and is totally normal, but it can get really old when you have to listen to it all day.

What else? Today is the end of January and so we are officially one month into the new year and our renewed focus on our finances. We are following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. It also shouldn't be a coincidence that our focus in church over the month of January was on finances. It definitely helped make me feel like we are on the right track with our thinking.

I cannot even say how blessed we have been in this area. It blows me AWAY and I cannot even explain how we are surviving. While we were in the adoption process, we knew that the ultimate goal was for me to be able to stay at home with our children. While trying to fund the adoption, we were also putting away money to make that dream a reality. We knew that for at least one year, we would be unable to make it just on Peter's income and would have to take money out of savings every month to survive. Well, here we are and somehow in this new year of new focus on our finances - we are somehow not living in the red anymore! I say all this just to show how much God really does provide for all of our needs - even when it doesn't make sense that we are somehow surviving! It is mind blowing to me!

So our main two goals for this year on the Dave Ramsey Plan were to: #1 - Pay off the Jeep #2 -- Start to get 6 months of income in savings

For our Goal #1 - We were able to pay a significant amount towards this goal in January. We are to the point that we are just going to pay the normal monthly payment for what looks like 2 more months and then the car payment will be GONE! So happy about this!!! I can't wait to be debt free!!!

Goal #2 - It appears that the IRS is really going to bless us on this one and we should be able to accomplish this goal (or be very close) in the next few months. MEETING this goal was never even on our radar this year as it typically takes about 2 years to accomplish this goal. Another awesome thing about this one is that 6 months income is pretty darn close to 3/4 of what we would need for another adoption and we would never hesitate to empty our savings when God says it is time to bring home another child!

In our wildest dreams, I don't think we considered that we could be in this place right now where by the middle of this year we could be working on paying off our last debt (a school loan). But it would be amazing and it is looking like it could be a reality!

Hmm, so what else in randomness? I am just in a total nesting mode. I want to get everything cleaned and put away and organized, but I know there is just not enough time left to get all my projects done so I am hoping to just be able to get things cleaned and mostly organized and possibly be working on some projects by the time this little one is done baking. I guess it just depends on how much longer this baby is going to keep cooking........

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Ones Left Behind

There is a part of our time in Ethiopia that I haven't really spoken all that much about. A point in the blog writing that it just became too painful for me to continue on with the rest of our journey and time in Ethiopia. I couldn't think up the right words and so I just moved on and talked about the unicorns and rainbows in our life.

But try as I might to ignore, or at least push aside these feeling and thoughts, my mind will not let me forget. The images are still present in my mind and my brain is constantly thinking about the one's left behind. I feel like I am in a completely helpless place right now. I am pregnant therefore we can't adopt again. We have very limited funds so I can't give as much as I would like to. So what is left of me? For now, I try to remember the words that Almaz, the director of Hannah's Hope gave to us. "You are not here to save Ethiopia. At this time, you are here for your child and to take him or her home and love them." But it just doesn't feel like enough.

When we arrived in Ethiopia, we spent the first several days at Hannah's Hope - the transition home that Malachi spent 3 months at. It was a very clean place, the special mother's were incredible, and the babies had every little need met. You hardly heard a baby cry because the second they let out a whimper, a special mother was there to meet that need.

At some point in our trip, we went on a little trip to an orphanage. Specifically the orphanage that all of our little one's spent some time at before going to Hannah's Hope. Since we were in Ethiopia over the rainy season, we had to park in the middle of like a freeway and walk up the hill to the orphanage.

We were amused to see these boys playing soccer with a water bottle. Soccer is such a big deal and it was very common to see kids kicking some sort of object around.

We walked up this muddy road and I remember trying to make sure I didn't slip and fall as I had Malachi in my arms.

As we entered the gates of the orphanage, it was very apparent that this place just did not have the funds that Hannah's Hope had.

We got a brief tour of the facilities. It is also very apparent that this place does not have the staffing that Hannah's Hope has, but they are truly doing the best with what they are given. I still remember distinctly the smells of this place. They were trying to keep the facilities clean, and had even minutes before we arrived mopped some of the floors but there was still a very strong odor. They were preparing lunch for the kids while we were there. Here they are making Injera.

Then it was time to meet the kids. Now we have all seen images of orphans, and we all know they are out there in this world, but having them physically right in front of you wanting you to just touch them. To have them look you in the eyes where it seems like they are wondering if you came for them - I don't know how put the words together to even say how hard it was.

We walked into the room where all of the toddlers were and they just came swarming our travel group. They had their arms up and open and were begging to be picked up. I had Malachi in my arms so I couldn't hold them, beyond just touching their hands. I hated that I couldn't do more. I will never forget the little girl who latched on to Peter's pant legs, like she was claiming him. How I wish we could have scooped her up (and a few more) and brought them home with us.

The biggest difference between this place and Hannah's Hope though, was that the majority of the children at Hannah's Hope had family coming for them. At the orphanage, all the children were waiting. They had no families coming for them.

Then it was time to eat. All the kids sat down and when the food came they were ravenous!

This little one melted my heart. He or she ate so much food, like they would never get to eat another meal again. That always makes you wonder about their story. This kid ate like 3 full bowls of food and then was finishing off other kids food. It was so good to see that they didn't cut him/her off though. They kept refilling the bowl until this little one decided they had enough. The children are taken care of to the best of the orphanages ability!

But it was still hard to look into the faces of the waiting and know that there is nothing that you can do in that moment to get them into families.

I just cannot forget about the millions upon millions who are waiting.

And in reality, I don't want to forget.

It is so hard to know that not every child will get a family. That outside of Ethiopia there are millions more all around the world, even in my hometown that are also waiting.

There is not much we can do right now for these kids, but we do what we can. You can't forget the faces of the waiting, it is impossible. I have found what my heart beats for and what my passion and obsession is - Doing something - advocating, praying, giving, going, adopting those that wait.

These are just a few of the faces. The number of orphans in this world is truly beyond comprehension. As I kiss and snuggle Malachi and see him smile at me, I still think of the ones who don't know what it feels like to be adored by a mom and dad.

If you have ever considered adoption, I challenge you to read "Adopted for Life" by Russell D Moore and pray about being mom and dad to a child who is waiting. In adoption, at first we thought we were making a difference by being a mom and a dad and providing a home to a child that needed it. But in reality, we are the ones that are completely changed. We were the ones that received the biggest blessing of our lives.

Monday, January 24, 2011

35 Weeks

Seriously!!! 35 weeks - our new little addition will be here before we know it!!!

How far along: 35 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 23 lbs
Maternity clothes: For sure!
Sleep: Well, I am now up to 4, sometimes 5 pillows. I toss and turn a lot and wake up with horrible heartburn in the middle of the night. I also get calf cramps and restless legs and have more frequent bathroom trips. So, I am getting less and less sleep every night.
Food cravings/aversions: The cravings are increasing in severity and are really random. Recently I have craved Sonic Ice a lot. I have also craved cupcakes, cereal, cheeseburgers, Mt Dew, cookies and cream kisses, ice cream sundaes - pretty much anything and everything that I am not supposed to be eating right now.
Gender: Maybe a little more to the boy side than the girl side, but it is getting harder to guess the closer we get!
Movement: Baby has been head down for awhile now so the kicks are all coming in my ribs. But recently I think the baby has dropped so the rib kicks have gone away for the most part and kicks in general are becoming less frequent. For the most part I feel rolls and pokes and jitter movements and full body flips (which can hurt!).
Best moment: Really getting close to the big day and getting to prep for it. Getting the house ready for the baby, ordering the crib, organizing and washing baby clothes, visiting the hospital. It all helps make it real!
What I miss: Everyday I have a new ache and pain. Moving around is getting more difficult. Even sitting on the floor and changing Malachi's diaper can be a challenge. I also have a lot of new pains in my tailbone and pelvis as it seems like baby has dropped.
I am looking forward to: The big day! We are so close and I can't wait to meet my little boy or girl!
Weekly Wisdom: Enjoy it, because it goes so so fast. I am trying to soak up every kick and movement because I may never get to feel this again.
Milestones: 87.5% of the way there, but really in 2 weeks they would allow me to deliver if I go into labor. I have no idea if I will see my due date but I am guessing not as most doctors do not want you to go that far with gestational diabetes.

In other baby news. We had our hospital tour this weekend and I left very happy with all my questions answered and just getting to see what is going to happen and where I will be was great! I had ideas in my head of the ideal situation and after seeing the hospital and hearing what they are about I really feel so good as it lines up almost completely with what I want!

Okay so one final picture of dear sweet Malachi. I won't lie though - this morning was NOT all sugar and spice. The kid got up really early and was really whiny and I was going nuts as I really value my sleep right now :) I took care of him, but then he wanted to be really clingy when I was trying to take care of myself and so I put him in his jumper (Thank you God that he still fits and loves that thing!) so that I could get something to eat. So he was happily playing in it as we really don't put him in there all that often anymore. Pretty soon, I noticed his head bobbing and his eyes closed.

So the poor boy was still tired and was out cold in the Jumper. The funniest thing though and I wish I would have grabbed the video camera instead of the still camera because as soon as he heard the camera click he popped his head up, opened his eyes, and started jumping really hard! It was very funny and cute! Hopefully the day will go smoother after he gets up from his nap!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Today both Malachi and I had doctor's appointments.

We started our morning off with Malachi going in for his 9 month check-up. He continues to follow the upper trend on the charts. He is now 30 1/4" long which leaves him way up in the 97% for height. He is also 23 lbs 12 oz which puts him in the 90% for weight. He is in perfect proportion and the doctor agrees that he is probably going to be a tall one!

Otherwise it was pretty uneventful. He is doing great developmentally and is right on target and even a little ahead in some areas! They don't typically do shots at the 9 month visit but we had to get a few to get him caught up. Now he is right where he should be with vaccines and we will be on the "normal" chart from here on. He was not a fan of getting looked at by the doctor so I had to hold him for most of it. He got upset when she looked in his ears and really did not like it when I had to lay him on the table for part of it. He definitely wanted mommy and yet again, it was no fun for baby or me to have to deal with the shot part.

I had my appointment this afternoon. Things are still going perfectly. I am doing a great job of controlling the gestational diabetes. The baby is measuring a little small at 32 weeks instead of 34 but I guess that isn't of concern since those measurements can be off. The heartbeat was in the 140's and baby is head down and may have even dropped. So everything seems to be progressing just as it should!

The baby is totally up in my ribs and it HURTS. We are definitely running out of room and I am starting to get really uncomfortable. When I sit I can't breathe and it pushes him/her farther up into my ribs and causes more pain. Being reclined or standing seems to be the most comfortable. I love this kid dearly, but I really would appreciate if s/he would move down a little more. But I am sure that the baby is just as uncomfortable as I am.

So there is our update on how our appointments went. I think we both passed with flying colors ;)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

9 Months Old

I admit it was a bit frustrating to try and get a decent picture of Malachi today on his 9 month birthday, but this is the PERFECT picture to show just what this boy is all about. He is such an entertainer and total HAM when the camera comes out. I seriously cannot believe just how much personality this kid has in that little body!

So what has Malachi been up to this month? He has been fine tuning his crawling and cruising skills. I kind of didn't think we would see any BIG developmental changes in this month, but just over the past few days the boy has been learning all sorts of new skills!

Right before Christmas, Malachi learned how to climb the stairs. It was a fun one, but he clearly was not understanding how to get back down so it was time for the baby gates.

Food wise he has really decided that baby food is not where it is at. He pretty much just eats what we eat for meals and loves things like hot cereal for breakfast. He also really likes noodles whether it be in Macaroni and Cheese or Spaghettio's. The other day I was impressed to see him eat an entire grilled cheese sandwich! He is quickly growing into a toddler boy and I am not sure how I feel about that.

He has learned some new things. One not so great thing is biting. I think he just does it because it feels good on those teething gums but we are really trying to teach him to be gentle (especially with a new baby coming!) We were also thrilled to see him start signing back to us this month! We have been working on the sign "milk" with him since he was 6 months old and just a few weeks ago he started doing it back! We are now working on "eat" and "all done" with him. Last week he started giving us nice slobbery kisses and just yesterday he started saying "uh oh". Why do I get the feeling we will be hearing that one a lot :)

For the BIG milestones. We were shocked yesterday when Peter and I both looked over at Malachi and he was STANDING on his own for a few seconds (but then he fell). We were a little giddy about it, and he continued to impress us throughout the day as he continued to let go and balance for a few seconds at a time! Just for fun we set his favorite toy on the couch (the laptop) and stood him up and he proceeded to TAKE 2 STEPS to it! We were so proud! It was so fun to watch how very careful he was to balance himself before attempting those steps. I don't think it will be long before he becomes really brave and is walking all over the place! But it all started with just 2 steps :)

And just when we thought we were all done with the milestones today we noticed that tooth #3 has FINALLY popped through. He has his top two front teeth that have been playing games with us for about a month where we thought they were going to break through and then they didn't, but it looks like we are finally making progress and tooth #4 will be making an appearance any day now!

So our little boy continues to constantly impress us with all of his new skills. He also entertains us like none other. If you spend any amount of time with Malachi, you will quickly recognize that he lives to entertain everyone and he constantly is looking around the room to make sure that EVERYONE is watching him. He is hilarious!

So with that being said: Happy 9 Month Birthday Mr. Malachi!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Day In the Life of Malachi

So what does an average day in the life of Malachi look like?

Well, I am about to show you. Sure there are the special days where we go out and do fun things or have doctor appointments (not so fun), but for 3 or 4 days a week this is what life looks like. I really don't mind sticking around the house and I now realize that in some aspects we are still sticking in the cocoon quite a bit which isn't really a bad thing for him right now, especially as his life is about to go through another big change here in a few weeks.

A day in Malachi's life:

9:45 - Time to wake up! (yes, I know how very lucky I am to have such an incredible sleeper!) It is a wonderful thing to be greeted by this precious face every morning!

Time for a diaper change

10:00 - Time to eat some puffs and chat with mom while she makes breakfast!

Finally breakfast is ready! On the menu today: Warm oatmeal and some pineapple/pear babyfood

10:20 - Done with breakfast and time for a bottle while mommy cleans up the kitchen.

10:30 off to the races! Playtime! He loves looking out the window....

And playing right in the middle of all his toys. He also LOVES hamming it up when mommy pulls the camera out!

12:45 - Time for a nap, but first another bottle and diaper change.

3:30 - Up from nap and time to get dressed (although on really cold days we stay in jammies). Time for diaper change, lotion, and clothes!

3:45 - Time for lunch. Today we share leftover meatloaf, mashed potatoes, squash, and yogurt!

After lunch, time for another diaper change. Malachi thinks his yucky diaper is funny - such a boy!

4:00 - More playtime!

5:00 - Daddy gets home and as soon as Malachi hears the keys in the front door he goes nuts and crawls to the gate as fast as he can and leeches onto daddy's legs with all his might. (It melts my heart every day. He loves his daddy!)

6:00 - Time for dinner. Tonight he had a big dinner of the last of the mashed potatoes, Spaghettio's, and applesauce. Malachi LOVES noodles!

6:30 - Time for more playtime and trouble!

7:30 - Bath time, which just might be Malachi's favorite time of the day!

7:50 - Time for lotion, hair product, and jammies accompanied by lots of eye rubs.

8:00 - Another day comes to an end when Daddy feeds him a bottle and rocks him! Night Night Sweet Boy!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Plugging Along

We are still inching closer and closer to the big day around here. We are getting lots of things crossed off our list and I have even had this amazing improvement in my energy level which has really helped in getting things organized around here! I still feel so far behind on organization since Malachi came home.

We are living life with a due date in front of us (7 weeks until due date, 4 until "full term") and we can't really see beyond that right now. We can't predict what the future is going to look like 2 months from now. We just know we will be going back into survival mode :)

We sit and marvel at the realization that in just a short few weeks we will have 2 babies. How do we get that reality to set in?!?

So in other stuff. This past weekend was Christmas in Ethiopia. We didn't do much of anything for it since Malachi is too little to understand but we did put him in one of the Ethiopian outfits that we got him while in Ethiopia. He loved the tassles on it and he looked adorable!

On Monday I went shopping with my mom to cross off most of the remaining items on our newborn get-list. I feel so much better having almost everything we need in the house! I also found a great new option for our dresser dilemma. We were having a hard time finding a dresser that would fit in the closet. We have no place for another dresser, but to have it in the closet. Plus we were not loving the prices of dressers. So we came up with a much cheaper solution and it seems it will work great! Yesterday I got Malachi's (soon to be the new baby's) room organized and washed all the itty bitty baby stuff and put it away. Now just wondering if we will be using the pink or blue stuff in there!

And Malachi wanted everyone to be sure and know that it is STILL his bedroom for now :)

Friday, January 7, 2011


I swear that this baby #2 is causing more shifting and re-arranging than the first time around. Or maybe I was so on top of things with baby #1 (everything was ready over 6 months before we needed it to be) and we have kind of waited until the last minute to even THINK about getting ready for baby #2.

It was really simple to prepare for Malachi's arrival as we had plenty of room in our house for everything. Well, I think the walls must be shrinking around here, because it is becoming a challenge to find room for everything.

This week we conquered step 1 of preparation. Malachi and all of his Christmas toys are quickly outgrowing our living room so we are pushing the kid's playroom into the formal dining room (that never had a table in it to begin with) that is right next to the living room. It is hardwood and Malachi is known to fall quite a bit so we decided to put some of those foam alphabet letter down on the floor. We had some rearranging of furniture. Peter thought it would be a bad idea to leave my China hutch in a room that a toddler boy would be playing in, so we had to find space for that in another room. Now we have moved most of the toys into that room and have set the baby playpen up in there so we have a safe place downstairs to put baby in and not have to worry about Malachi being able to reach in :) Eventually the baby swing and vibrating chair will make their way into that room too. The only thing that I really have left for that room is to get a toybox to pick up some of Mal's smaller toys that are all over the place right now.

The next project we have is to get our bedroom organized and shifted. I really didn't see the point in buying a bassinet and since I wanted the playpen downstairs to put the baby in, we decided for the time being to set the crib up in our bedroom. We just need to get the crib and mattress ordered and we will be all set in there!

The last little project that will be taking place over the next several months is to get the spare bedroom ready to be Malachi's Big Boy room. We debated about whether or not to room the two kiddo's together. The first challenge we found was trying to fit two cribs in that room and then I started worrying about them waking each other up, so for now it will be best to give them separate rooms. Since the baby will be in our room until s/he is sleeping through the night, we have time to make that transition with Malachi.

This is a BIG project as all of our stuff/junk is stored in this spare bedroom. We need to go through it and organize and get rid of a lot. Then we have some fun ideas for painting and decorating before we finally make that big switch for Malachi. There is a lot of stuff in that room, but fortunately we have time to get this project done.

I feel better knowing we are at least starting to check things off of our list. I have a list of all the little things we need to go get for a newborn baby that we didn't need for Malachi. We still need to get a dresser for the new baby and I need to wash all that tiny newborn stuff! I have started a list of things that I need to pack for the hospital, but then I also remembered that I need to pack a bag for Malachi and make sure that the dogs are taken care of, plus I want to make sure that Peter has snacks at the hospital and he really wants to take the Wii for entertainment and then it just feels like there is so much to pack! Fortunately I still have plenty of time to get all that ready. 8 more weeks until my due date, 5 more until we are "full term"!

Okay, in much cuter and exciting news. Today is Malachi's very first Ethiopian Christmas! We were given the opportunity to go to a very cool Ethiopian Christmas Party but with Malachi being so young still we decided to hold off on that. Someday I may even make some traditional Ethiopian food at home, but this year we aren't doing too much. We did however, pull out one of Malachi's Traditional Ethiopian outfits for him to wear.

He is just too cute!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

6 Years Ago Today........

In the Happiest Place on Earth: He asked, and I said Yes!!!!

We were young ones at the age of of 18 and while I am SURE that most people thought we were totally crazy (as people still think we are for the decisions we make) it was one of the best days of my life and I am so glad that he asked :)

We have made several trips back to our special engagement spot over the years. The engagement spot has changed quite a bit as have we. So lets take a little walk down memory lane.....

In 2006 we returned to "our spot" while enjoying our honeymoon together. For us, there was no more perfect place to go on our honeymoon but to Disneyland!

In 2007, we went to Disney World instead of land, but happily returned to "the spot" in 2008 where we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. This day was special because we experienced The Disneyland Earthquake, an event that apparently only happens once every 10-15 years. This trip was also special because this would be the last time we went and would get our picture taken in front of the "old mickey". Notice we had just gotten off a water ride before taking this picture:

In 2009, our special spot was behind construction walls so we had to take the picture from a different location. Notice that the "new Mickey" had arrived. We knew this would be our last trip to Disneyland without children and our baby on the way was very much so on our mind during this trip!

Then there is 2010. Lots of changes in this picture. Our spot had changed considerably and our family has changed considerably too. This year we had Mister Malachi who was 6 months old and another little bundle half baked in the oven!

This one spot in Disneyland holds a special place in our hearts. It is fun to reminisce and see just how life changes. We have come along way in 6 years! We were two young kids with a lifetime of love in front of us and I can't wait to see what these pictures look like 20 and 40 years down the road. We will always have time for Disneyland :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Kids Change Everything

I continue to realize more and more just how much our lives are forever changed. It is all for the better, but never again will life be even remotely carefree.

We'll start with Malachi. Before I even knew who he was, I was worried about him. Once we reached the top 5 spots on the wait list I became insane. I knew that things would be happening in his life and that he would be going through pain and loss. I was worried about his health, and his emotional state. I wished that from the moment he left his birth mother's arms, he could be in mine. But that wasn't possible. I will never truly know just what Malachi went through in those first few weeks of life.

After we got our referral, things got really hard. I had a face and a name and I wanted to be there for him. I wanted to make sure he was thriving, and make sure that loving arms holding him. At the time, since I had not been to Hannah's Hope I had no idea just how great the care was there. All the pictures I had of him, he was laying in bouncy chairs and from my perception (at the time) he looked so alone. I wanted to make sure he was happy. He was a little guy, but I wanted so badly to see a smile cross his face so that I KNEW that he was happy. Finally after 3 months of waiting, I saw him in a special mother's arms and I also saw his smile and it made me so sooo happy!!!

I have gotten a little bit better over time with him. I still hold my breath every time he falls. I hate that he is sick right now and there is nothing I can do to make him feel better. One thing adoption forced me to do was to give up control. I think if I would have done the pregnancy thing first, I would have had a harder time remembering that first, these children are Gods.

I have also decided that there is no point you hit in pregnancy that you feel safe. Maybe some people can relax, but I still worry. The entire first trimester I was convinced that I would miscarry, but I decided that I would not let worry ruin it for me. I would enjoy every day I was given with this little one. Finally at 12 weeks when I heard the heartbeat, I was convinced that we would make it through the first trimester. I think most woman tend to relax during the second trimester, but I started worrying that I would go in to pre-term labor and we would lose the baby. Again, I knew there was nothing I could do about it, so I just decided to enjoy everyday. Finally we made it "viability" and entered the 3rd trimester. I figured we were safe from there. If the baby were born today, s/he would have over a 95% chance of survival. But then I read how gestational diabetes slightly increases the risk of stillbirth and I have decided that I will NEVER not worry again. Things could happen during labor and delivery. Then we have the risk of SID's - it will just never end.

Maybe I am insane. I know a lot of it stems from losing my brother when I was very little. My entire life, death has been a very real thing. I grew up always afraid that I would lose the people I was close to. Over the years I have let go of a lot of that fear, but it comes back now as I worry about Peter on his commute and I daily worry about my kids. I have to remember that I gave my children to God, as he is the one who gave them to me for however long he chooses and so I enjoy every moment I have with them. Every kick I get from this baby I am thankful for and every smile I get from Malachi I am thankful for!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hopes as we look into 2011

It is amazing to me how a new year always feels like a clean slate. I don't necessarily need a clean slate as 2010 was truly amazing but 1/1/11 is still a great time to reflect and think about some of my dreams, wishes, and hopes for the year to come!

I know 2011 is going to have challenges and it is going to be hard, but I also know we can handle whatever is thrown at us.

I feel like we are just a month and a halfish (maybe more) away from what could very well be the highlight of our year! Very soon we will be welcoming a new little one into our family and we are very excited about meeting him/her. I also know that expanding our family is going to bring a whole new set of challenges to our life. I know that at times we are going to feel overwhelmed but we will plug along and easier days will arrive. We may spend the first 6 months of this year in "survival mode" but it will pass :)

As we add an additional member to our family, I also know that we are going to have to work harder at making our marriage a priority. 2 little one's who need diaper changes, and food, and baths, and cuddles is going to make it even harder to find time for us, but we need to be intentional about creating time! I always think back to the advice I read in a book that children are just visitors in our home that will someday leave the nest, don't let your spouse become a stranger.

We have some aggressive financial goals this year. We want to get the jeep paid off and hopefully get 3 months expenses put away into savings (towards our ultimate goal of 6 months). We have the money to pay off the jeep - BIG YAY! Now it is just a matter of getting the pay off amount and sending in that check! It will be difficult to hit the 3 month savings mark, but I am hopeful that we can do that and hopefully stick tightly to our budget in the coming year.

Most importantly for me this year, is I want to continue to listen to what God wants for my life. He has given me (and Peter) a passion for the orphaned in this world and I want to continue to serve and help others on their adoption journeys as well as listen to HIS voice and HIS timing on when we should proceed with bringing baby #3 home! I know we could be categorized as "insane" for even discussing baby #3 right now, but we both truly believe that God is calling us to our 3rd child and His voice is so strong that even if we wanted to ignore it, we couldn't. So we KNOW God is calling us to adopt again, we even have a pretty good idea of WHERE God is calling us, but what we don't know is the WHEN. It is almost a daily burden to wait and wonder on the when, but I have to get past it because I know we are still a ways away from even being able to start on that next journey and I am very much okay with that. I know my two kiddo's are going to keep me plenty busy until God finally reveals that it is time to proceed. So, I think in some aspects this will be a year of waiting and listening to God. I have no clue where we will be on our journey to #3 in a year. We may be on the road to our next adoption, or we may still be waiting for God to say "go". Either way, there are still so many things I can be doing in my relationship with God while we wait on this one thing.

So with all that being said. I truly welcome 2011 and fill this clean slate of a year with memories!!!