Thursday, June 29, 2017

the search - searching for bliss - all necessary

we've got to back way up to start at the beginning to fill you in on all that has transpired.

on the night of may 23rd we were contacted by a sweet lil momma in louisiana.  one of her contacts had found a pass around card that my sister placed in a new orleans hotel and shared our information with her.  she'd been following our facebook page for a week and finally decided to reach out.  we hit it off and ended up chatting with each other for about 5 hours.  things sounded good and we found hope again.

the morning of the 24th of may started out as any normal day and i got a couple calls on my cell phone that were from unidentified numbers.  i did not think too much of it until one left a voicemail message.  the message asked us to call our social worker from bethany.  still, i did not get too excited since we've previously been called three times (during the wait) to see if we'd be speakers on adoptive parent panels etc.  i called her back.  she said "we have a placement" - "twin boys were born" and we'd been selected to parent.  i immediately said yes.  (i have no clue what i was thinking, but i said yes.)  i imed will on his trillian account and hoped he was in agreement with my thought process.  his primary answer was yes as well, but he did have doubts and concerns about paying double placement fees!  we chatted through it and decided it was a go.  they asked us to come to the city where the babies were born on the 27th.

my big boy graduating from woodland preschool.
on the 25th of may we attended dax's preschool graduation.  he was perfect in every way.  while on the stage in his cap and gown they asked what would you like to be when you grow up?  some kids said they wanted to be "astronauts", "mermaids", "race car drivers", etc. - however our child said he wanted to be "the boss".  the room erupted with laughter and i could not contain myself!  how perfect, and what an excellent goal!  after the hilarity of the morning we headed into the fellowship hall where i was approached by a lady who said she too had been following our facebook page and had someone that she would like to refer to us who was seeking an adoption plan.  insert glazed eyes.  seriously y'all - four babies in three days.

friday the 26th we shopped.  we gathered two of everything.  we got car seats, bottles, formula, passies, onesies, blankets, everything we could think of and we (along with my parents who were here for graduation who now got roped into going out of town with us to watch dax while we adopted the twins) loaded up the cars.  we headed out on saturday the 27th, three hours from home and got everyone checked into their hotel.  dax was eager to bounce on a bouncy house across the street and to go swimming in the indoor pool.  we dropped off our bags and headed to the hospital.  the mother had signed her revocation papers earlier in the morning.

so excited for those paw patrol bouncy houses!
we were nervous and excited.  we prayed together on the top level of the parking garage.  we entered the hospital and waited anxiously for the social worker.   she said she'd know us when she saw us, as we'd be the nervous looking folks!  we met her and connected and went up to the mother's hospital room.  we chatted and quickly got comfortable.  we talked about everything we could think of and everyone seemed to feel at ease.  there were many things we had in common and we chatted about the similarities.  we were shown pictures of the boys from a cell phone and told we could come back on monday to meet them in the nicu.  when we left we talked with the social worker and told her how comfortable we felt.  she remarked that the mother had talked more than she ever previously had in their meetings and she too felt things went well.

feeling great after our visit with the sweet momma.
sunday the 28th we hung out.  we swam in the pool, spent time with my older sister as she'd also driven down to give support, we just anxiously awaited our meeting for the following day.  i kept attempting to connect with the contact from dax's preschool and finally caught up with them to inform them of what was going on.  i was able to steer them to locate an agency in the state the birth mother was in so that they could pursue an open relationship, since that is what they were seeking.  we referred them to quiver full and prayed that peace would fall over that momma.  i emailed our friend in louisiana and attempted to connect with her, but was unsucessful.  we did not want to leave anyone hanging, despite the fear of turning everyone else away and the possibility we'd be left with nothing.

good times with our big boy.
working on swimming.
nani and her new swim bag on the hotel patio.
my sweet family
the day before the big meeting.
monday the 29th we were supposed to go to the hospital at 9:30am.  earlier in the morning we received a text to wait and come later.  we sat nervously and watched a hundred episodes of property brothers and beach front bargain hunt.  tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.  we texted back to see if we should come around 12:30.  we were again told to wait.  my heart sank.  i just knew something was not right.  minutes seemed like hours.  finally, i could not take it any longer.  at 3:30 i texted again and then received a phone call from the director of the local office.  

these weren't our babies.  
we were not their parents.  
they'd go home with their birth family.  

we were happy for them, but we were wrecked.  we'd told dax.  why did we tell dax?  he was so excited.  how were we going to tell him and break his little heart?  i cried for hours.  will cried for hours.  we just laid in the bed until we couldn't anymore and we decided to go watch dax in the pool with grans.  there we watched dax tell a boy in the pool that he was going to have TWO new brothers.  my heart broke a little more.  soon we'd have to share with him what we knew.

he was so happy.  he didn't know what we knew.
 tuesday the 30th  we had to pack up and head home.  once we'd packed our bags and began loading the car i crouched down to dax's eye level and informed him that the brothers were not coming home with us.  i cried.  i tried not to, but i could not help it.  he was mostly upset to see me crying.  we don't think he understood that those babies weren't ours and they would not be joining our little family.  we'd gone from four babies to no babies in a matter of days.  he asked if i would always be sad, which made me even more sad, but i reassured him that it would take some time, but i would be happy again.  we got in the car and headed back home.  multiple times on that trip he asked if i was happy yet?  i kept reconfirming it would not be today, but maybe tomorrow.  when we got home sweet lori met us in the driveway with hugs and flowers.  none of us could really make eye contact.  we just hurried on through things and talked about anything but.

beautiful flowers.
wednesday and thursday were business as usual.  i tried to hold back tears, get caught up on work, and explain to everyone we'd shared the news with that those babies were not ours.  i remember sobbing while making dinner.  i was facing the wall and dax was playing a game in another room.  i was able to break down.  we returned things.  we got our money back.  we cried.  we hugged.  we grieved.  we loved, we lost.  we unpacked and repacked to take dax to the tweetsie railroad in boone, nc like we'd originally planned.  we carried on.  friday we loaded the car back up and hit the road to the western part of the state.  we enjoyed the drive and the sunny weather.  we stopped and had lunch in durham, nc and passed out pass around cards all along the way.  we made good time and as we were turning onto the road nearest to will's parent's house we got a call from the director of the agency's office.  she was calling to check in on us and see how we were doing.  we told her what we'd been up to and where we were headed, trying to get back to life as usual.  she reconfirmed that we had told our social worker that we were fine to go back to active status the day after the failed match.  we reassured her that we were. then, right there in the car in western nc, that is where the phone call changed directions...

starting out our trip to western, nc in the right way by getting good eats in durham, nc.
dropping cards all across the state.  back to the drawing board.  literally.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


i'm in a funk.  (insert sad emoji.)  this is certainly not uplifting, but i'm just trying to work through my feelings as of late, by being as open as possible.  adoption is hard.  as i head into this upcoming mother's day weekend i'm scared - scared of the raw emotions that keep welling up inside me.  sorry in advance for the pain and for the tears.

i'm listening, really i am.  but, i am just not sure what you're trying to tell me.  all i see is roadblock after roadblock and i'm not sure which direction to turn in.  adoption should not be this hard.  we cannot have biological children, that's understood - so when God nudged us ever so ferociously towards adoption back in 2004, we knew it was where we were headed.  yeah, it took us a while to get serious about it all, but eventually we got there.  that is why we did not think that round number two would be nearly as hard as attempt numero uno.  but it is, and in some ways it's way worse.

maybe you forget the difficult times you had in your first adoption when you're in your second because it's like labor pains and those things fade away?  right?  i don't know.  never had them, so how can i even know.  but i honestly do not recall the process to adopt daxton being this terrible.  yes, the failed match was one of the worst times of my life, but outside of that it was all very smooth and uneventful with a minor wait (a blip on the radar) resulting in a perfect match for our little family to grow from two to three members.  but, the process to get from three to four seems impossible.

how is it that i see so many people with more than one child, even more than one adopted child and we are struggling so very hard to make this growth happen? what should we be doing that we're not?  i'm back to seeing pregnant moms and not being happy for them anymore.  i'm resentful, hardened and messy.  people joke about their kids being "annoying" or "bothering them" and i cannot even find it funny.  you say you'd like to spend your mother's day alone with some peace and quiet - not me.  i'd rather be dealing with a crying baby, changing it's diapers, and telling dax to keep his hands off of the electronics.  you see, we long to grow our family, and have for some time, and it's so hard when it is all completely 100% out of your control.   

it's been so hard to know that we've received zero interest in our profile since we started this second journey to adopt.  not one expectant mom has had the desire to even speak to us to ask us any questions or get to know us.  it makes you feel so rejected, unwanted and so vulnerable.  what is it about us that makes us appear so unworthy?  something we've said, how we look, we're too old, not physically fit enough, or is it something else?  recently i've seen lots of posts about expectant moms who only want to work with adoptive families who have no other children.  well, we do have a child, so now what?  who knows.  since the infant placement is seeming so overwhelmingly impossible, i started looking into older children for adoption.  i recently inquired about a four year old on a second chance adoption site, but was told that since we had a five year old in our home we didn't qualify because they wanted no children in the home younger than the age of ten.  i'd fallen in love with that girl.  there was just something about her, that i locked right in on and i was devastated when we were turned down.  i cried all night.  i  previously inquired about other older children and was told that since we have a five year old in the home we didn't qualify to adopt out of birth order.  okay, so we cannot find a match for an infant and we cannot adopt an older child, so what are we to do?  we feel so stuck.

none of this makes any sense.  we're locked in with two agencies, we're marketing ourselves as best we can with pass around cards, online message boards, facebook groups, and trying to sell ourselves any way we know how, but we're getting no where.   is God trying to tell us that one is enough?  leave the other children for someone else?  they're for another family?  we're just supposed to be the parents to dax and that is how the story goes?  that's hard to fathom.  not a week goes by where dax does not ask about his sibling - when are they coming?  - when can they play?  - will it be a boy or a girl? -  he'd make an awesome big brother, but - and maybe this is the hardest thing for me to imagine is how nobody wants dax to be their baby's big brother?  i just cannot wrap my head around it.

but, i just have to stop going there.  i'm not giving up.  we're not giving up.  we're ordering more pass around cards because with everyone's help, nearly 1000 have already been passed out!  that's amazing!  (if anyone else can help us pass around cards, please just message me your address and i'll get you some in the mail when i get my new order. - )  our online profile book with quiver full is being created shortly and we're keeping our little facebook page maintained with the happenings of what's going on in our world.  we know that this is all in God's perfect timing and one day things will all make sense, but it's hard.  we're human and we cannot see into the future.  the wait is so, so hard.  my heart just longs to have another little one to love and a sibling for dax to call brother or sister.  so, we pray.  we pray that these roadblocks are just stumbling blocks in the path, just little hiccups, but they're not meant to derail us.  we pray they are there just to keep us focused on Christ in every second of this search and wait.  we pray that there is an expectant mom out there that's looking for a situation like ours - a home with a funny, quirky, loving, giving, spirited, Christ centered family that's looking to grow by one; and we pray that she'll find us - right here waiting.

"until God opens the door, praise him in the hallway."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

the long part: the waiting & the carrying on

in december we applied for a potential adoption situation coming out of florida.  completing the attorney's paperwork, gathering up all of the required documents, and printing out some photographs of our family to include got our hearts re-energized with the possibility that a baby could one day join our family of three.  clearly we didn't get selected to parent that sweet baby girl, but it has opened another door.

it's not that we'd forgotten about the possibility or that we'd lost hope, but we'd honestly become resigned to the fact that this was going to continue to take a very long time.  while online i saw an ad for an adoption agency - quiver full.  the more i read, the more interested i became in what they had to offer.  after some prayerful consideration will and i decided we'd reach out to them for more information.  they set up a call and answered our questions about self-matching and the marketing strategies that they feel best help to connect their adoptive hopefuls and expectant parents.  we really thought this could be a good fit for our continued search.

because we're already working with bethany christian services we needed to be up front with them and let them know that we'd like to work with another agency.  we hated to loose the fees we'd paid up to this point and did not want to damage our strong relationships with them, but we'd seen no interest in the past (almost) two years and felt things growing stale.  to our surprise bethany reached back out to our communication and graciously allowed us to carry on working with them while we also attempt to self match with quiver full.  we were elated at the thought that we'd have some assistance in better marketing ourselves.

as of march 30th we became an active family with quiver full.  their strategy includes a facebook page in which we can provide further details about our lives and how we live on the day to day.  by sharing this page with our friends, and our friends sharing it with their friends, etc. it is hoped that it will create a web of people and that within these shares we'll end up reaching out to an expectant mother who could be considering an adoption plan for her unborn baby.  it really is all in the hands of God, but we know that this networking is part of his divine plan.  everywhere we look we're seeing arrows and they were pointing us right to quiver full!  it just feels right and we know that even while we wait (and it seems like we wait and wait and wait) He is in control and that the right baby will someday join our family.

right now they'd like us to reach 1,000 likes on our facebook page by the end of the month.  that really seems daunting, but if you'd be so kind to give us a like and share, we'd greatly appreciate it.  you never know who knows somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody.


the work with quiver full also includes more online marketing in the form of ads, as well as a website, an online profile book, and connections in another state.  we are still in the process of pulling all of our profile book information from a hard copy into the online template, but hope to have that completed soon.  for now we just have a static page, but that site is:

we thank everyone for continuing to pray for our family as we wait.  we're enjoying every second of dax being an only child.  he's the best little fella anyone could ever imagine and he's going to be a fantastic big brother to a little sibling one day.  he still prays for this little one all the time and he even hangs out in their room.  he longs to have a sibling as much as we desire to add another little one but, while it's hard and the wait seems so incredibly long, we wait with a renewed hope and trust in God that He is laying this path exactly as it should be constructed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

the catch up game

shame on us.  it's been a very long while since we've shared anything with the blog world.  absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? 

to get caught up i am going to have to break it down into a little list.  y'all, we've been busy!
  • went to conference in new york for work.  it was a long 72 hours!
  • surprised sweet boy with a trip to disney world for his fifth birthday.  we felt like it was the right age to go and experience the magic and hopefully be able to handle all of the long days of walking!  we'd been telling him all year long that if he saved his money we'd try and go to disney world.  well, he saved every cent he got his hands on and we cashed in all of my starwood points and a lot of our delta skymiles to earn us as free of a trip to disney as we could score.  (highly recommend staying at the swan hotel.  stayed there on points and loved every second.)  we had a surprise party for dax on a friday night and told him at the party that we were boarding a plane for florida the next morning.  pulling this off was a huge feat, but we did it and we had the trip of our lives.  would not change one single second of it.  we had fantastic weather, a relaxing time by the pool, beautifully fun days at all of the parks, and a super happy and cooperative little fella.  daxton still talks about it two months later and is ready to go back!  
  • for thanksgiving we headed to adri's folks and then to adri's uncle's house for turkey day.  it was great to spend the day with all of the littles and get to spend time with that side of the family.  we always have a great time and the scenery is amazing at the lake!
  • daxton had lots of performances!  my favorite was his hip hop dance performance where he really put on the show with his personality!  it was amazing to watch him and his little friends do their routine!  our boy did an unbelievable job and we were so proud!
  • for Christmas this year we celebrated at home with will's folks.  it was great to not have to be traveling and spending time on the roads.  i'd been away from home for the entire month of november and it was good to be home!  we had a very laid back Christmas with lots of cooking, eating, church, light tours, games, and movies.  it was a very relaxing and wonderful time!
  • for new years we traveled back to roanoke to celebrate with adri's side of the family.  it was amazing to have everyone at one event to ring in the new year.  we all got dressed up in our fanciest clothes and enjoyed dinner and dancing together.  what a wonderful way to celebrate!  (even daxton stayed up until 2am!  sorry to the baby sitter!)
  • 2017 has started out with some more gas in our tank in pursuing our second adoption.  we really feel like the last 18 months of waiting has been kind of a waste of time and don't want to be in this same place 18 more months down the road.  we never imagined we'd wait this long.  in the midst of all of the above, our homestudy had to be renewed in december and we hope that will be the last time we're doing that for this situation.  we are going to create more of an online presence with our profile and work on some marketing.  we hope this will boost our chances of finding a potential situation.  dax really longs for a sibling and we cannot wait to continue to grow our family.  
dax had a wonderful time with all of the rides, meet and greets, parades, shows, and performances!
the four cousins with great granny
the covey, taylor, mutispaugh, ryder, rolf, white families!
daxton on the night of his hip hop dance recital
dax had a speaking part in this year's christmas musical at preschool.  we were so proud of this big boy on stage!
daxton loves this cereal, so he got it for a gift from santa.
we had one winter storm that kept us trapped in our neighborhood for about a week.  it was just the right amount of winter weather and we're thankful to be back in the sixties now!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

pumpkin patch 2016

we took our annual trek to the pumpkin patch this past weekend.  this time we tried out a different farm just to have a new experience.  instead of heading to hillridge farms we struck out a path to vollmer farms.  we'd gone to vollmer back this spring to pick strawberries and love that they're all organic.  we were not sure what to expect around the pumpkin patch, but we were very happy with our afternoon there!

of course i made dax pose for about a billion photos, but he obliged pretty well knowing that some amazing fun was on the horizon.  sweet dax didn't disappoint in showing his personality in these pictures.  love him.

this.  is.  dax.
after photos dax got to pick where he wanted to head first.  he checked out the live animals and got to meet a donkey, some baby chicks, and some bunnies.  after the animals he headed over to a zip line contraption that allowed him to plummet in a sawed out barrel straight down a zip line.  unfortunately i miscalculated the swing at the end of the zip line (as the previous daddy was not really letting his kids experience the full joy of the zip line) and so i stood a little too close for pictures.  before i knew what was happening dax was barreling down the zip line straight towards me.  luckily i protected the camera with my left forearm, but dang - five days later and it still hurts!  after the zip line dax moved over to ride the crazy cow train.  this was a tractor pulling more of those sawed out barrels that were turned into seats for the kiddos.  the driver made this extremely fun turning rapid left, right and zigging/zagging all over the place.  the kids were screaming with hilarious giggles as they made their way all across the back part of the farm.  once the ride was over dax wanted to go on the giant slide that is built into the side of the mountain.  he grabbed a burlap sack and headed for the top of the mountain.  will stayed up top to keep eye out and i hung out at the bottom to see him come squealing with laughter as he shot out of the tunnel like a rocket!  he must have done this slide about 20 times!

when the sun started setting i told dax he better go check out everything else they had to offer and we headed towards the giant bouncy pillow.  dax saw the giant pillow and immediately began stripping out of his shoes and socks, leaving a trail behind him as he made his way up the pillow.  i think he could have jumped on this thing for a straight day if we'd let him.  we allowed him about an hour of jumping and only made him move on so he could see everything else there was to see before we needed to head back home.  this, however - was his favorite thing at the pumpkin patch!

after the bouncy pillow we took a quick trip through the corn maze.  dax was pretty bored by this and quickly wanted to move on.  next we headed to the pumpkin launch.  it was like a giant catapult king, which is one of his favorite games on the ipad.  all three of us lined up to see who could hit the pumpkins with the baseball sling shots.  daddy definitely had better skills than dax and i had at this game!  after quite a few rounds we let dax have some fun in the corn bin.  he loved laying in the corn, rolling in the corn, putting the corn all over himself, and managed to get corn in his socks, pockets, and underpants!  corn for everyone!  last but not least, we took a hayride back to the pumpkin patch, picked out a pumpkin, and loaded up in the car.  it was an awesome afternoon, and we were all tired (from trimming bushes earlier in the day and this in the afternoon, which in hindsight was just too much for one day - but we were short on october weekends!) and ready for bed!

all in all, we loved vollmer farms so much more than hillridge.  it was not crowded or over stimulating.  dax had an amazing time and we cannot wait to go back next fall!