Wednesday, April 29, 2015

We're Active: Week #6 (Adoption, Mr. Darcy, and stories)

Adoption is definitely a roller coaster. Each morning I wake up thinking "maybe today" and when I go to bed at night that wonderful thing called hope has already kicked in and I think "maybe tomorrow." Hope. It's such a crazy thing! Even when I just want a "day off" or a "day to be grumpy and grumble" God's gracious gift of hope keeps me from throwing in the towel--because my HOPE is so much bigger than even my own life or this adoption. It's true. It's huge. And it's worth celebrating in the midst of what seems to be utter chaos.

We've had a busy few days in contact with our consultant about several cases. We're currently active with 4, though not the same 4 of last week (I told you this is crazy, right?!). We were alerted that one of the moms we had chosen had been found to be a scammer. I am so thankful for the protection of the agency and that no one was hurt by this desperate woman. How tragic that she thinks in order to gain attention and money that she needs to lie about something so true and heartbreaking to so many other birth moms. I'm praying that she'll find her true needs satisfied in Christ alone. Another birth mom that we presented to chose another family. For a third, a very young birth mother, we were asked to write a letter. That letter, which I may write about later, was probably one of the hardest things I have ever been asked to pen.

Anyway, we're still waiting and with each "no," we are getting close to the one "yes" we are longing to hear.

It was almost harder to hear the first "no" than it has been to hear the subsequent ones. I know this is because God shifted my perspective a great deal after I got a bit of a "weepy down in the dumps what's wrong with us" type attitude. Those thoughts were and are pure rebellion. God has a plan for our family. He has a child for our family. The story is written. Done. We're not waiting for some random chance to take place but for the little one who God knows needs us to be revealed. Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am a fast reader and not know what will happen drives me nuts until I get to the end of the book. I need to be able to hold all the pieces of the plot in my head as soon as possible. (I am the girl who, in 9th grade, had to go to the public library to get a copy of The Giver becasue I could not possibly wait to read it "as a class." It felt and still does feel like one of the most scandalous things I have every done). Then, I become one of those chronic re-readers. Once I know how the plot will develop, I can sit back and enjoy the language, the humor, sorrow, the beauty of a book. How many times have I experienced Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's witty banter? Sherlock Holmes solving just one more case? Anne breaking that slate over Glibert's head? So, the girl who wants to hold all the pieces of the story in her hands in order to relax, breathe, and enjoy is forced to wait patiently while the next chapters are being written, so utterly and completely out of her hands.

I can fool myself into thinking that I have some amount of control about my every day life (and fooling myself into thinking that is a dangerous way to live and one I struggle to overcome each day), but with adoption, the lack of control becomes painfully obvious. So, we hands, open hearts, pens poised at the ready to write another chapter of this amazing story.

There's no skipping ahead...

**Just an update...there are two days left in our t-shirt fundraiser. The company emailed to let me know that even if we don't hit 50 they will still honor our original donations and print our shirts. We are currently at 42! It would be great to reach our fundrasing goal though. If you are interested, you can still get one here: Johnson Family Adoption Fundraiser

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

We're Active: Week #5

Today marks five weeks that we've been active to be matched. Things have been a little busier with several cases being sent to us. We're currently choosing to present on 4 of those. It's kind of hard to keep track of but we won't be presented simultaneously to birthmoms, so when or if they see our profile book depends on a lot of different factors. The process is crazy and I'm not sure how our consultants juggle everything! One day we might choose to present to a birthmom, over the next few days she might go MIA, then reappear with legitimate reasons...and we're "on" to present again. We've had birthmoms that did go missing and never reappear. We've had some "no" answers and we wait on others. It's totally a process that is out of our hands, which is both frustrating from the human aspect and liberating in another sense as we know God is truly knitting together our family...we really can't even pretend to have any control! 

We've also been laughing as almost all the situations we've seen are girls! We've joked before that we'd be an all girl family and it may very well be the case, even with adoption. We love everything about little girls, so if that is God's plan for us, bring on the bows and tutus! I am sure she'd turn out to be a good mix of girly girl and tomboy just like her sisters. 

Even though we were sick last week, we did manage to have our yard sale! My mom and two friends were gracious enough to help out. We raised $338! I am hopeful we'll be able to do another one this summer. Thank you to everyone who helped and donated items!!

Our t-shirt fundraiser is going well. We've sold 26 shirts and have 9 days left to sell 50. I really hope we can meet that goal. If we fail to a hit 50 then the shirts are never printed and we don't collect our donations (funds aren't collected until the campaign ends). I love the shirt design and am hopeful that we can do a photo book of friends and family wearing the shirts for our little one. Plus, I feel like the shirts are a great way to open up a conversation about adoption. If you'd like to buy one, you can click on the link to the post about "50 t-shirts in 20 days".

I feel like we've seen so many beautiful adoption stories lately. What joy they bring to my heart! While the waiting seems hard (because of my own human impatience to know all the details), it is a process that reminds me, rightly so, that I am not in control. 

Please continue to pray for financial needs to be met and for our birthmom and future son or daughter. 

**Brave Love Image belongs to FAC

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We're Active: Week 4

Yesterday, we entered into our 4th week of being active to be matched! The most eventful thing in our house this week was not adoption related, but stomach bug related!! Ugh! Last Tuesday, H's teacher called to say that we needed to pick her up from school as she had thrown up. She remained sick until Sunday! Friday, M came down with similar symptoms and is still having issues. Sunday, I caught the bug and while I felt better Monday and Tuesday, relapsed on Wednesday and am currently nesteled in my bed! Thankfully, K has managed to avoid the worst of it and only ran a low fever one evening. This is definitley one of the longest lasting bugs we've ever had!! 

We're planning on having a yard sale to raise money for our adoption costs this Saturday, since our subdivsion is also having their yearly sale. At first it looked to be a rainy day, but since the forecast looks great, I am going to try to muster enough strength to make it happen! Thankfully, my mom and dad took the girls for a few days so I can rest and my mom will help with the yard sale! She's amazing! 

Our t-shirt fundraiser is going fairly well so far! we've sold 15 shirts but we need to sell 50 total before they can be printed and we can earn our donations. We have 15 days left to sell them! If you're interested in purchasing one, click on the previous post for a link! 

On the adoption front, we found out we weren't matched with the last birth mom that we had chosen to present to, but were immediately sent another situation which we chose to present on. We'll see what happens! It seems like cases come in bunches and we saw a lot the first two weeks we were active and it has kind of slowed down somewhat. It's hard to be patient, especially when we hear about other matches, but then we remind ourselves that the goal of adopting for us is not self-satisfaction, but to be servants to God's desire for us to adopt and to be waiting with open arms for the child He has ordained for our family. 

Adoption is a hard, beautiful, purifying process. We know that we are at the beginning of a beautiful story that has already been written--and that is exciting! 

**Rebecca Radicchi quote image belongs to FAC

Saturday, April 11, 2015

50 T-Shirts in 20 days!!

We just launched a new fundraiser for our adoption. Help us to sell 50 t-shirts in 20 days! If we sell more than 50---Yay! 

We hope these shirts also help to raise awareness about the need for adoptive families too! When you receive your shirts, please email or send me a photo via Facebook! I am going to create a gallery on our blog! Our future son or daugther will have one amazing baby book! He/She will be able to see the faces of all the people who supported their homecoming! 

What you need to know: 
-$8 from each t-shirt sold will go directly to our family
-You can make additional donations besides just buying a tee
-Your credit card or paypal account will not be charged until we meet the minimum of 50 shirts and they are shipped! 
-Share with your friends and family 
-We only have 20 days!! 

Please use this link to access the page to order:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Rental Property Fire & A Quick Adoption Update

As many of you know, after our house in STL was on the market for over a year, we decided that we would rent it until the market improved and we could sell. While we were visiting family there last week, there was a fire at that house. While it has been very hard to see the house we loved in such a mess, we can already see blessings having come from this incident. Yes, I said blessings! 

The fire started in the garage and there were only flames in the garage. I was pretty shocked when I went inside. It's crazy to see the damage that smoke and heat caused! It honestly looks like there were flames inside the house. The fire department did have to put a hole in the ceiling inside to make sure the fire wasn't in the attic and they did break a window in the kitchen to have some ventilation while they dealt with the fire. By the time I arrived, the men were almost done boarding up the garage. It's definitely hard for us to look at these photos. 

Counting my blessings: 

1. No one was hurt in the fire. Our renter was able to get out safely. 
2. We have insurance that will take care of the cost of all the repairs. They will basically gut the house and it will be entirely new (down to the light switches, toilets, etc.)
3. There was no structural damage to the house (only two beams in the garage were damaged). 
4. We'd had some problems with our renter and this fire revealed some information that, had we not found out at that time, could have been more troublesome. 
5. The insurance company will handle further investigation into the cause and origin of the fire and lease violations. 
6. It happened while we were in town! K was able to get there pretty quickly. 
7. Our neighbors there were very supportive and helped to check up on things and kept an eye on K and his dad while they changed locks and closed up the house. 

Prayer Requests: 

1. For patience and wisdom as we navigate all the repairs, interact with the insurance company, and plan to sell the house when the repairs are finished. Pray for a quick sell! 
2. For our renter--that he'll get his life on track and come to salvation 
3. For us as we again tackle two house payments, while we are also trying to save for adoption (this is probably the hardest part for me, as we were hoping a renter would allow us to save that extra money for our adoption expenses). 
4. For us as we wait to be matched with a baby and for wisdom as we fundraise and save. 
5. For our future little one and his/her birth mom

A quick adoption update: 

**We found out we were not matched with one of the babies that we had chosen to present on. There's always the "why not us?" question, but I am so thankful that because I KNOW that God has the little one He wants us to parent out there, because His plan is so much higher than my plan, we can continue to wait with hope and joy. 

We are overjoyed and so thankful that our adopttogether account has $1, 248. If you would like to donate you can do so here: