“…once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.”
~Proverbs 24:12



Saturday, January 30, 2010

Father Knows Best

Two weeks ago I put 70+ hours of work into my job. This past week I was well on my way for another 60+ hour week. While I do work quite a lot of hours outside of my home, this is not the norm. However, in a deadline-driven, project-juggling occupation, it’s going to happen from time to time.

Yesterday morning as I was getting ready to head into work—thinking about all the things I had to cross off my list and get done before the weekend—the weatherwoman on the morning news announced that Middle Tennessee was estimated to get .25 to .5 inches of snow.

Fast forward to 10:45 a.m. The snow started coming down fast and substantial. Five inches of accumulation, two worn-out and abandoned cars, and ten helpful friends later, Derek and I are safely “snowed in” at our house for the weekend. Big change of plans for finishing off my work week strong and diving into the weekend’s pre-planned activities.

With things to do, but no mode of transportation to navigate the encumbered roads even if we were brave enough to try, we’re stuck at home. While some facebook statuses express complaints of cabin fever and painful boredom, this career-girl is reveling in the excuse to be home! (See the sledding video—poorly shot with my phone—below as proof!)

Would I have taken a break from crazy work-weeks, Upward cheerleading practices, small groups, Chamber of Commerce activities, etc.? Eventually, I’m sure. But God knew I needed a break… before I broke!

Now, before you call me crazy, I am fully aware that it can be unhealthy to be on the go as much as I am. But, there’s a season for everything in our lives, isn’t there? With no children at the moment and thousands of dollars to save for our upcoming adoption, why not work? With families in our community wanting positive and empowering activities for their children, why not help spread to Gospel through Upward sports? With amazing Christian friends who want to learn more about God, why not learn with them in small group? I want to be an effective tool for my Savior. I don’t want life and its opportunities to make a difference pass me by.

All that being said, I’m so thankful my Father knows the best for me, and is willing to nudge me a tad when need be. I’m so thankful He reminds me to make “me” time. I’m so thankful He allows me slow down and simply know that He is God.

As I begin prepare for a new week tomorrow—one which will hopefully including sending the last of the needed documents to our social worker so that she can wrap up our home study—I hope that I can remember this recent time of relaxation and how beneficial such times can be to my soul. International adoption will surely send more twists and turns my way, but by being equipped with the peace of the Holy Spirit, I’ll be well-prepared.



CHECKLIST:
• Bloodwork
• Medical/physical




video

Monday, January 25, 2010

ga-to-vit



готовить
"ga-to-vit"

The verb "to cook" is one of the first words we've learned in Russian, and how suiting! Derek and I are aspiring foodies. Big emphasis on aspiring.

I recently tried my first Russian dish. Granted, it was one of the easiest recipes I've ever had to follow. But I made it, and it was darn good!

I think it's so wonderful how God prepares our hearts for what's to come. Many times it happens while we're unaware, but when we can see it working... it's an exciting blessing. God has really planted great interest in both mine and Derek's heart for all things Russian. It started with setting the DVR to record anything with the keyword "Russia" (which has exposed us to everything from the the history of the Bolshevik Revolution, to a televised performance of Rihanna's "Russian Roulette"!) to now cooking Russian cuisine. Well, that's if you can even consider my 20-minute UBER easy Beef Stroganoff "cuisine."




1 12-16 oz package of frozen cooked all-beef meatballs
1 cup beef broth
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 oz. can sliced mushrooms (drained)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon dijon mustard (I add a little bit more)
4 cups egg noodles

1. Combine meatballs, broth and mushrooms. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer 15 minutes
2. In a bowl, stir the sour cream and flour. Whisk in milk and mustard. Stir into skillet. Cook and stir until thickened.
3. Serve over hot egg noodles.
Makes 6-8 servings.



Saturday, January 23, 2010

There’s No Place Like Home

…at least that’s what we hope we conveyed to our social worker today!

We completed the home visit portion of our home study this afternoon.

In a nutshell, the adoption home study is a detailed written report of our family, compiled and prepared by a social worker (SW), submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and eventually to the Russian Federation. Pretty much, a complete and positive home study pleads our case that we would make good parents.

Each state has different rules that apply to a home study. We are required to submit a gamut of documents: written autobiographies, medical exams, financial statements, references, etc. Prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) are basically put through the wringer to prove that they are suitable to bring a child home. Today, we were able to cross off our list the one-on-one interviews with our SW and our home visit.

The one-on-one interview consisted of me talking about… me… for one hour… Awkward? A little. But I do have to admit, it’s exciting to finally be taking big steps toward bringing our child home!

We dusted, swept, cleaned and primped to put our home’s best foot forward. While the SW only seemed interested in fire extinguishers and adequate living space for a child, I was beaming as I imagined fun places to build forts, spend family game night and create memories for years to come.

We’re making some headway!



CHECKLIST:
• Signed with local home study agency
• Wrote autobiography (4.5 pages!)
• Completed couple interview
• Completed one-on-one interview
• Completed home visit

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hope Like Never Before

What began as an instrument to share our path through pregnancy and parenthood, transitioned into a short-lived tale of infertility, and has now metamorphosed into what—I suppose—God always intended it to be… a blog of the journey in finding our “arrows” through adoption.

Looking back at previous posts, I’m astounded by how much God has worked in my life. When my husband and I were told we were “infertile,” it was a big blow, to say the least. It seemed that everything we had envisioned our future family to be was now shut off to us, never to become a reality.

As a result of our situation, our dreams changed, some relationships with others changed, we felt life as we knew it was changing. Little did I know that—rather quickly and definitely surprisingly—those changes were leading up to the big change. A change of my heart.

I never thought it possible to no longer yearn to be pregnant and have biological kids. I mean, everyone is supposed to want that, right? I thought that was one of my crosses to bear. But, leave it to our Lord to do the impossible! He truly created in me a new heart for this part of my life. I have a hope like I’ve never felt in regards to building my family. I’ve never been this excited and joyful about the opportunities that await us—even before infertility was ever on our radar. I’m so thankful to my most merciful, wise and loving God for knowing the plans He has for me and beginning to see these plans to prosper me unfurl!

As you have noticed, my blog has now been changed to private. To date, we’ve shared our happy news with a handful of people and have been overjoyed with the “congratulations” and encouragement we’ve received. As more people ask about what we’re up to, I’m sure I’ll have more readers. (Though, by looking at my “hit” counter, I had a lot before I went private!) However, adoption is technically a legal proceeding. I’m not sure I want the world reading the blog until I have our child safely home.

Thank you all for your support! I’m so blessed to be able to share this journey with the ones I love!

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