Tuesday, January 27, 2015

That's my daughter.

God is so good. 
That's really all I know to say. 
He has knit our family together so perfectly, and this girl is the icing on our cake. 
To sum up my time with her-- 
God used each and every minute to confirm over and over and over again that she was made for us. 
It's painstakingly obvious that she belongs with us. 
Every little detail-- they just fit. 

 Our bond was instant, as if it had always been there. 
I guess you could say that's because it has. 
God knew long before I did that she was ours. 
And I will never, ever stop thanking him for the gift that is our Emily. 

I am so in love with this little girl. 
And while my head is still spinning, jet lag is still kicking (hello, 4am wake-ups), and my heart is still racing, one thing is for certain: 
I CANNOT WAIT for her to come home. 

Every day I spend longing for her is one more day that she doesn't have a family. 
And even one more day with no family is too many. 

Will you please join me in praying that she comes home soon? 
Pray that God will move mountains and bring her home sooner rather than later. 

As of tomorrow, we officially began our adoption process twenty months ago. 
But my heart has been longing for her for so much longer than that. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tomorrow, you're only a day away.

After waiting and stressing about paperwork arriving in time, 
I am officially headed to Congo tomorrow to meet my daughter. 
It seems like a dream. 
I've waited so long to see her and hold her and love her in person. 
I keep seeing us meet in my mind over and over again like a movie. 
Will she like me? 
Will she be scared? 
Will she let me hold her? 
We shall see. 

I can't imagine what she's been through in her short little life. 
So much heartache and loss and hurt, I'm sure. 
My biggest prayer request for this trip? 
I don't want to bring her even one minute of hurt, heartache, loss, or fear. 
I want our time together to somehow take the place of all the days she's lived without a mother, without a family, without security, without the comfort of a family. 
I know that it can't. 
There's no way a week together can make up for all the time she's spent without all of that. 
But God is good, and thankfully He is in control......always. 

Here are some thoughts/ questions people have asked/ things you might be wondering:

*I'm almost all packed and ready. All I can say is, I feel like I deserve some sort of prize for all the things I've managed to fit into my bags. I'm bringing close to 100 pounds of donations for Emily's orphanage--- formula, cloth diapers, medicines, etc. I've also somehow managed to pack all of what I'll need and all of what Emily will need in my carry-on. I'm also bringing all of our food (minus water). I see lots of ramen noodles, beef jerky, rice, and peanut butter crackers in my future. Please pray that all of my bags (two checked bags, one carry-on suitcase, and one personal item) make it safely to Congo. I don't want to be distracted by anything during my time with my daughter. 

*Will I have Wifi? Not sure. Maybe. We shall see. I'm praying that I do so I can send pictures and videos home to Lee and the girls and so they can send videos to us. HOWEVER, whether I have Wifi or not, I will NOT be posting pictures of Emily's face. While I'm dying to show you just how adorable she is, I'm not legally allowed to do that until she's home. But don't worry-- I'll do what I can and promise to post pics as often as I can. 

*Am I nervous? Probably not in the way you might think. Africa, traveling to Africa, and being in Africa-- these are a few of my favorite things. I feel so comfortable there, and there is literally nowhere else I'd rather be. And traveling? Yes, please. I love flying. I love airports. Even though this is my first time traveling solo, I'm not nervous.  I'll be fine and have no worries about that. I'd say my nerves all come from worrying about her--- I just really want this time together to be a time of peace and comfort and joy for her. I want to be able to meet her needs and for her to begin to view me as her mom. I want her to trust me and for communication to just naturally happen. 

*How old is she? Does she speak English? She's about 2.5-3.5 years old. However, I've been told she's tiny, so we shall see. Hopefully I'll have a better idea about this once we've spent some time together. And English? That would be a no. The national language in Congo is French, but she speaks a tribal language called Lingala. I do have a cheat sheet ready with some key words and phrases, but we shall see how well that goes. Lingala is hard, y'all. 

*How am I gonna leave her? I don't know. All I know to say about this is Jesus. Just Jesus. I have never been more sure about anything in my life than I am that Emily is my daughter. God's got this. He is in control. Does that mean leaving won't be hard? Oh my gosh, of course it will be awful. How am I supposed to say good-bye to my toddler daughter I've just met and leave with no return date in sight? I have no idea. But Jesus is good. And He will take care of me. 

*When is she coming home? I also have no idea about this. We are still waiting to pass court (this is month ten). Once we pass court, she will legally be our daughter, and we'll start making steps towards her coming home. However, Congo still is not issuing exit letters (the final piece you need to travel with your child). Again, God is in control. Does it stink that she can't come home today? Absolutely. Every child deserves a family, and no child should have to continue living without a family when she has one waiting for her. However, let me say it again-- GOD IS GOOD. We saw her face for the first time the day before they announced they were putting exit letters on hold. I fully believe that that was God's timing. He will provide. He will take care of her. We're living in His timing, not our timing. 

That's all for now. 
Finishing up the last few things I need to take care of before I say good-bye to my family and head to a dear friend's house later today. 
She will drop me off at the airport in the morning, and I'll be off from there. 
Prayers are greatly appreciated. 
I'll be meeting my daughter on Friday. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It sure was merry.

You know it's time to blog when your husband mentions you haven't posted anything in a while.
The truth is-- I've been enjoying. 
All the time together, games played, present discovering, family togetherness---
 I've been enjoying all of it. 

 This Christmas has been one of the best we've had in a long time, if not ever. 
Between the good news we've received for family members in sticky health situations
 to the way the girls played together ever-so-sweetly
 to the upcoming trip to meet little sister--
 it truly has been the most wonderful time of the year. 

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

'Tis the Season

Well, hello there!
Guess who forgot she had a blog...
Okay, that's not true. 
What it is true is life...just life. 
Things have been crazy busy here lately-- like far more crazy than the normal crazy we typically beat to around here. 

Several extended family members are battling some pretty big stuff health wise. 
That combined with adoption, Christmas, and the busiest time of the year Noonday wise have left me with no time to spare. 

AND-- did you hear the big news????
I'm headed to Congo to meet our daughter in January!
She won't be coming home with me (still no idea about when that might happen), 
but I will be meeting her and caring for her and loving her like crazy next month!
Needless to say, there's a lot that goes into a trip like that. 
More to come on this soon. 

But for now, I just wanted to leave you with a picture of Hollyn 
from last week's preschool Christmas program. 
Is there anything cuter than a group of preschool kids singing Christmas songs? 
I think not. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dear Halloween, Thanks for being good to us.

Dear Halloween,

I just wanted to take a little minute to say thanks for being so good to us this year.
We enjoyed every minute of your candy corn, pumpkin spice, costume wearing, Hocus Pocus watching, haunted house, trick-or-treat goodness. Don't tell the others, but you're my favorite holiday. Everyone else is like, 'Oh, Christmas, come quickly!', and I'm over here like, 'Halloween, I miss you already'. Until next year, dear friend.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Shake it off.

Oh, I love this girl.
Look at her-- she just radiates fun and adventure and creativity. 

She has such a fun style, and her independence is growing a little more each and every day. 

Fourth grade and ten-- they've been whole new worlds for us. 
For you see, my girl is growing up. 

We've seeing in all avenues of her life-- 
her abilities, her thinking, her friends--
everything is changing. 

And change can be hard sometimes. 

But, I've said it 100 times before, and I'll say it again:
this girl was made for something special. 

There is only one Libby. 
And I'm so glad she's mine. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

There are no words for that.

We all know that an average pregnancy lasts for nine months. 
We also know that in a total of eighteen months, 
a woman can carry and give birth to two full-term babies. 

Well, today is the eighteen month anniversary of the day we began our adoption process. 
That means that I could have given birth to not one but two babies by today. 

And yet our daughter is nowhere near close to being home. 

When I wake up tomorrow,
 I will officially have been waiting longer for Emily to come home
 than I did for both Hollyn and Libby combined. 

Oh, how I long for her. 

It's funny the words we say
 and how we never ever think about how they will affect the people around us. 
I remember countless times when I was pregnant that I verbally wished for my pregnancies to end, for my daughter to just be here already, because nine whole months of waiting was such a long time. 
And it did feel like a long time, especially with Hollyn, 
whose pregnancy was discovered within days. 

I've heard several women say these words in the past few weeks, 
completely unaware of the wait I am currently facing. 
Don't get me wrong-- those women have every reason to be ready for life outside of the womb to begin with their children. 
They long to see their little faces and snuggle them and watch them sleep and begin to uncover their little personalities. 
I so get that. 
Their words were not meant to hurt; they were meant to imply that they are excited. 
Their are words out there that so clearly express what they are feeling-- 
anxious, anticipation, nervous, joyful-- just to name a few. 

But eighteen months of waiting for my daughter?
There are no words for that. 

And the worst part? 
There are so many mamas out there who have been waiting so much longer than I have. 

Adoption is hard. 
Waiting is hard. 
Watching my daughter grow up in pictures without a family is hard. 

Would I do it again? 
Am I willing to wait as long as I have to to bring our Emily home? 
With bells on. 
Am I good at waiting? 
Is it fun? 
Negative, Ghost Rider. 

Here's to a Friday night spent catching up on good TV, drowning my sorrows in Trader Joe's pumpkin flavored awesomeness, and attempting to stare a hole through the picture of my daughter on my phone. 

And here's to praying there is no 'thirty-six months waiting' in our future.