Friday, July 30, 2010

without further adieu

Hush Baby Crib Bedding

above is the link for the bedding we decided upon, and below is a larger image of the fabrics themselves.

i pre-selected about 25 color swatches from their website to try and narrow down the field.  will decided he was overwhelmed even by the 25, but he was a good sport and we sat down on the floor and discussed each one. 

he put his favorites into one pile and his "not so favorites" into another.  after this, i pulled out my favorites and we went back and forth about why we liked the ones that we liked.  once we decided on the swatches we liked we then had to determine where on the bedding they would go!  this was an entirely new battle.  we had to take an intermission at this point.

once we resumed with clear minds we quickly made our selections and had this part done within 10 minutes.  we reconfirmed that we loved everything we picked and that it went amazingly well with the painting we are going to do, and clicked the send button.  we cannot wait to see it in person!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

horses, chickens, bridges - we know...

proverbial cart before the horse…

we’ve said it all to ourselves, so you don’t have to say it to us:

· don’t go putting the cart before the horse.
· don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
· don't cross a bridge before you come to it.

however, I am going to have to figure we’re living by these mantras for now:

don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and most importantly; don’t ask God to guide your footsteps if you're not willing to move your feet.

this story starts from the back end and works its way forward.

we are ordering nursery bedding tonight.

i are like, "but you have not even filed papers yet!" trust us, we know! however, after doing lots of reading and questioning of friends who have adopted, and reading a gazillion blogs we really think it would be helpful for the expectant parent(s) to see just exactly where their little one is going to end up. we know that the agency we are going to select is going to require a profile book.  we hope that the last page of our profile book can be a photo of the nursery. we are very visual people. we thoroughly investigate everything we participate in, and want to give our expectant parent(s) the ability to be as investigative with selecting us as we’ve been in picking an agency.

that then takes us to the photos. we’ve hired a photographer to take some photos of us in our house and in our town. i call myself an amateur photographer, but i just really love taking pictures and recording our memories. the most important thing to both of us at our wedding (aside from our undying love), was that all of our memories be captured with amazing photos. after the day, it’s the only truly tangible memory you have left to cling to (besides your wonderful spouse). since i find myself behind the lens at all times, we figured hiring someone to capture our love for each other and the fun we have around here would be the best thing to do. the photographer is going on maternity leave so she can only fit us in october 9th. that means that we need to have some semblance of a nursery for the photos by october 9th!

and so, we really started looking at nursery bedding this week, and once we got into it we saw that most custom bedding takes 6 – 8 weeks to arrive. once we started working forwards on the calendar we realized that with time tables like this, and fitting everything together to ultimately be ready to have our profile book completed as quickly as possible after papers are filed, we realized we did not have as much time as we thought.

i’ve been in love with a painting on the wall behind the cash registers at our new anthropologie store since it opened last summer. will and i scoped out canvas from a local art supply store, and i’ve learned how to make milk paint to attempt to recreate this perfect spring board for our baby’s nursery. we both really feel like this can work for a boy or a girl, and would be something that would demonstrate the fun and excitement that we hold for this little one in our hearts. we also hope that in creating something so expansive and expressive for our little one’s room will be something to show the expectant(s) parents exactly how much we care for the future of this little one’s own creativity.

as soon as we nail down the bedding, we will post a link. we’ve got lots to do to get the space ready for the photo shoot. after all, the room where i type to you now will no longer be my office; it will be our sweet baby’s room. when we purchased this home three years ago we always intended for this room to become our nursery. it’s on the main floor, with our master bedroom, and it’s perfectly filled with sunlight all day long. it’s crazy to imagine that very shortly we will be moving this office furniture upstairs to a guest room and converting this room into what it was always destined to be.

God – this is us moving our feet! thanks for guiding us down this path!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


"The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!

Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!

When I'm stuck a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,

The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always
A day
Away! "

will came flying down the stairs last sunday afternoon proclaiming he had a surprise.  i was excited and could tell by the eagerness in his voice that this was going to be a good one.  he quickly blurted out (since we are no good at secrets) that we were going to see Annie!  if you know me you'd know that he has always called me his "Annie", and that this has got to be one of my all time favorite stories.  the thought of it was just perfect - the timing with all we're going through - the symbolism - the first real date we've had since his surgery in april - the official commencement of our adoption journey.

last night was the opening night for the production at the NC Theatre.  after we read more about this production, we learned that the star of the original Annie, Andrea McArdle, was playing Miss Hannigan.  since the original production premiered on Broadway in 1977 (the year i was born), and my sisters and i used to spend hours upon end reinacting the theatrical production as our play time, everything seemed destined to be.  at the end of the performance Andrea came out to sing "Tomorrow" and then the "new Annie", English Bernhardt, chimed in on the second chorus.  i had to fight back the tears to make it out of the auditorium.  Casey Hushion, Artistic Director for the NC Theatre, is quoted as saying: "Annie insists that we see the light, even in the darkest hour."  I think this is the quote that will have to carry us through this journey.

as we were walking back to our car, will decided that we should probably get season tickets to the theatre.  we loved every second of the performance and were so impressed with the quality of the orchestra and all of the actors.  however, i reminded him that i would be afraid to commit to season tickets, when hopefully we'd find ourselves being able to go out on less dates in 2011, since we'd hopefully have a little one to take care of. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

lucky hedgehog


incessant barking. 


it's just the fed-ex man! 

i told the dogs it was just the replacement water filters for the fridge, and let them know that daddy would get it when he got home from work.  i was busy with work and did not want to go to the door just in case it was someone trying to sell something.

earlier this week i had a conversation with a friend about this exact thing and she asked if i ever missed out on anything by never answering the door.  i told her no, because if it was the mail lady or the fed-ex man with a good package - they'd be back tomorrow. 

after the dust had settled and i finished the excel file i was working on i headed to the front door and glanced out the window.  i saw it there, a smallish box just perfectly sized for water filters.  i did not even open the door and went back to work.

will got home tonight and i remembered the box on the porch.  he headed outside and apparently opened the box while he was outside.  he came back through the front door wanting to know if i had ordered anything.  admittedly i scrambled in my brain thinking (uh oh - we said we were saving for the adoption) did i order anything - "No, no, I did not order anything!".  he curiously noted there was a baby sculpture in the little box.  i got more excited and rushed towards him to see what he was talking about.  he said there are some papers in here and he started reading the note:

it was the sweetest note from my sweetest jennifer juniper with our first baby present!  so exciting!  i kissed the hedgehog and then had will kiss him, and then amelia, and iliana.  we lovingly carried him around the house - super excited to have the first gift for our sweet baby.

this little lucky sweetie is going to adorn my desk during every minute of our investigation, hold down our pounds of paperwork as we fill things out, and just be his adorable little self to remind us about the bundle of pure cuteness that is on its way to our arms!

the first time we were pregnant we were filled with excitement and allowed ourselves to purchase one baby item before our baby went to heaven.  we were at old navy when we stumbled upon the cutest little diaper cover.  it was on sale for .47 cents.  i've saved it to this day, and finally removed the price tag.  we honeymooned in hawaii and when we saw this, we just had to get it.

we've finally gotten that excitement back and this past weekend we found another bargain baby item.  i'd eyed these baby shoes for friends and family who have babies, but could not justify spending so much money on baby shoes that i was not even sure the baby's mommy would like.  however, this weekend these shoes were on sale for $3.47.  i looked at husband and asked if we could get these shoes.  he asked who we were getting them for.  i said they were for our baby.  he said - yeah - sure - why not? 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

pins and needles

we're on pins and needles around here.

the adoption hopefuls who were so generous to reach out to us and offer us information and support last friday have been informed of a possible match.  we don't know them, we've never met them, we've only seen their pictures online - yet we feel such a connection in waiting for the news.

people going through the adoption process seem to be the most gentle and open people we've ever met in our lives.  such a blessing.  even though this is not a placement for "our" baby - we feel their anticipation.  we're praying for their baby's birth mother, praying for the baby, praying for their family, praying for their social workers, we're praying that everyone involved has the peace of GOD to make the right decisions for all involved. 

i just cannot imagine how we will feel once we file our own papers - knowing that the phone call could come at any time.  it could be the middle of the day - it could be the middle of the night - it could be sunny - it could be raining - it could be winter - it could be spring - it could be a week after your homestudy is approved - it could be 12 months later.  the anxiety of all of that uncertainty is exciting and unnerving all in the same regard.  the anticipation i feel for our hopeful friends is making my heart want to explode, so i cannot even fathom how we'll feel when we receive a similar call.

thank you GOD for all of these feelings - FINALLY - feelings of excitement, eagerness, strength, and hope for a baby to come.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

my fur baby - meal

amelia is 11.  will got her for me as a graduation gift when i graduated from jmu in '99.  she's been our fur baby all this time (and we treat her like our real baby).  we were told in january that she had a heart murmur.  the vet found it when they were getting ready to put her under anesthesia for her routine dental cleaning.  they told us then it was a 3 on a scale of 0-6.  they told us they'd monitor the murmur and then we would put her on meds if it got any worse.

today we had the doggies at the vet for a routine check up and some shots.  the vet came in to tell us - the murmur is worse.

vet said today that the murmur is now a 5/6 and her blood pressure has increased.  this saddens us so.  we know she won't live forever, but we'd certainly like her too.  she is the sweetest, most affectionate, caring, playful, and loving dog i could have ever dreamt of. 

the vet prescribed a medication for her to take twice daily.  the vet said she will hopefully do well with the medication and this will slow the progression of the heart disease.  we go back a week from monday for a follow up.

this afternoon, after we got home from the vet amelia - meal as she is known around the house - sat in her favorite spot.  meal's favorite spot is anywhere there is a ray of sunshine.  i went to get the camera and snapped a few photos of her as the sun shone on her chest.  just a reminder that GOD knows her troubles and is watching over her.

love you meal.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

the light

at the end of this tunnel - there is light.

this past week was a roller coaster of emotions.  we were excited that we were finally getting into the nitty gritty of adoption and really sinking our teeth into the nuts and bolts of the process - laying everything out.  but with doing all of that came stress about the process.  we were never stressed about the end result.  see, for us this is finally a sure thing.  we've had positive pregnancy tests before, but could never let ourselves get excited about them since our babies never had heart beats.  but now, there is light.  there is a promise that at the end of this research, at the end of this journey, will be the beginning of our family.

we talked with another hopeful family last night.  they are "paper pregnant" and have been through all of the paperwork and home studies and are in the wait game now.  they were excited, enthusiastic, informative, caring, genuine, and so helpful.  they answered all of our questions and openly told us their story and why their agency worked for them.  it was so encouraging to hear their process and where they are now. 

after the phone call with them last night, will and i talked for hours.  there were things we had never thought of that came up in their conversation.  (i am sure we will have more of these moments after the informational meetings, the home study, and once the baby finally comes.)  but, we'd never thought of having the option to select anything about our birth mother's history.  we knew we wanted to be completely open about the baby that GOD felt was destined to be raised by us.  we did not want to limit either sex or skin tone, and were open to what ever baby was led to our arms.  we never dreamed there would be questions about how tolerant we'd be about our birth mother's use of cigarettes, illegal drugs, alcohol, or any mental illness.  it's just something we did not realize we could play any part in.  definitely something to think about.

will was running a bit late last night.  he knew we had the important phone call - and we were both in dire need of caffeine to make it through the rest of the day.  we'd spoken on im earlier and decided that i'd be ready when he got home and we'd run into down town wake forest to pick up our favorite coffees.  i was worried when he was not home by 6:45.  however, around 7:10 he waltzed in with a huge smile on his face, a bouquet of flowers in one hand, and a red box movie in the other.  my heart melted.  it never fails.  when times are tough, or i have a bad day, bad week, bad half hour - will is there to cheer me up, lift my head, brighten my mood, and keep me going.  gotta love this husband.

so, in the end - there is light at the end of this tunnel.  for once - we are on the track that will most certainly lead to parenthood.

my sweet granny (mom's mom) mailed us a packet of information from a bible study she attended a few weeks back.  she wanted us to have this document about ways that GOD can help you to manage stress.  we always turn our troubles over to GOD, but sometimes are a little impatient with his plans.  i hope to read the things granny has highlighted here to help keep us focused while on this journey.

these are the gorgeous flowers my sweet husband brought home last night.

we have to admit we were both nervous for the phone call.  neither one of is is extroverted, and both found ourselves jittery with anticipation like the night before Christmas when we placed the call tonight.  we are both just so excited to be moving on our adoption plan, the phone call just made it so much more real than anything else has to date.

after the call - we both felt relieved and really well informed.  we cannot wait to get more information about the agencies, attend the workshops/informational meetings, and get everything lined up so we can sign papers.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

admitted break down

i have to admit i had a total break down last night.  i got the information from another adoption agency that their services to provide us with an infant would be over 40K.  40K.  where are we supposed to come up with 40K?  seriously?

i cried and will was amazingly wonderful, as he always is and reminded me that because he has such great credit he'd be able to get all sorts of amazing loans and credit cards to bring our baby home.  i smile just thinking about it. 

it's like ever since he had brain surgery, nothing seems like too big of a challenge to him anymore.  i think i felt that way when i lost my right ovary in 1996.  for a while i felt like no challenge was too great, no hurdle was too large - that we could not handle it with ease.  thankfully he is the motivator now.  i just get so upset when i think about the expense of adopting a baby.  it's not like we would not be willing to give everything we have and everything we could ever dream of to have a baby to love, but i just wonder why infertile couples have to pay such a price. 

we've already handled the grief of being told at the age of 19 that i'd possibly never be able to become pregnant after the diagnosis of PCOS and the loss of the cyst consumed ovary, we've already handled the disappointment of our first miscarriage in 2004, we've already been devastated by the second miscarriage in 2008 and it having to end in a d&c, we've already been wrecked with heart break when i ended up in the er after our first infertility treatment, we've already dealt with will's chiari and brain surgery and the knowledge that his condition may be hereditary - we've dealt with all of that.  so why is it now that we also have to figure out how we are going to come up with 40K to afford a baby to have the honor of loving, caring for, and raising?

i'm thankful for all of the adoption blogs out there that provide such solace when i'm an obsessed crying fool, i'm thankful for my family who is always there with love and support when i call, i'm thankful for my husband who - through this all is always supportive, understanding, and on the same page, and most of all i'm thankful that i know that GOD has a plan for us - a plan that ends begins with us being parents.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

adoption on "the view"

The View

scroll half way through this show to see the segment on adoption.  very useful and very well spoken information from Adam Peterman from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.  a featured couple adopted transracially, something that i think really fits us.  every day we learn a little more and feel a little more complete about the decisions that have to be made.

it's funny that i found this link on, where i found a board for adoption (Adoption Forum on The Bump).  i had abandoned that site years ago after our first miscarriage.  funny how we've come full circle.  they even had a section about home studies, and what to expect.  it's crazy how these are the things that keep me up at night.  i'm worried about the paperwork, the home studies, the medical appointments to say we're healthy enough - things you just don't have to consider if you have a baby of your own.

however, somehow after finding this "new" (new to me anyways) message board and watching this clip on "the view", i at least feel a little more schooled today.

Friday, July 9, 2010

adoption = all consuming = mush for brains

all consuming. 

i think i'm at the stage now where this is becoming all consuming.  i think i tend to have a bit of an obsessive personality at times.  you see, everything i do, i want to do it perfectly, make sure i am making the right decisions, and fully investigate every option.  with adoption this is very hard to do.  there is just so much information out there, it's really hard to know where to begin, what path to take, and what to believe.

just when i thought i was falling in love with bethany christian services i found some websites that led me to feel a little differently about their program.  luckily i have a facebook friend who is going through the process and she has agreed to chat with me on the phone next week.

i feel really good about everything i know about wacap so far, and have also found a facebook friend who has time to chat with me about her experience in august (after our trip to john's hopkins).

i really hope that connecting with these parents (both current and in process) will help us get a better feel for what path is going to be right for us. it's hard to digest the fact that once you've committed to an agency by giving them your deposit, submitting your application, and preparing for your home study that you are then locked in - for better or for worse.

hopefully we can relax this weekend with a little r&r at the beach and just really chat about everything that is weighing on our minds, because right now i am not sure i will be able to sleep again until we've picked an agency.

here are some cute things that keep me going these days:

these sweet babies are on our front porch.  its hot out there, hot as can be, but their mom is keeping them well cared for, despite the sweltering heat.

we got this baby bank at a print shop in roanoke when we were in town for new years eve.  i know its totally supposed to be a joke, but for me it's totally serious.  this little baby on my desk keeps me focused on work when all i want to do is stop and day dream about babies.

Friday, July 2, 2010

the search continues

the search for an agency has continued. we spent last sunday researching agencies and submitted for some packets of information. it's just hard to get the true feel of an agency without getting into the paperwork, or meeting the people behind the websites. it's hard to imagine that you will make all of the right moves just based off your "gut" feeling from a website.

i recently began to use facebook as a tool. just yesterday i connected with someone who was a fan of "bethany christian services". i fanned their page a while back, after i had read over their mission and what they stand for. they really strive to help birth mothers make the best decisions for them and their babies, even if it means not putting the baby up for adoption. they also adopt only to christian families, and we are certain that God lead us to this point, so he needs to be at the front of our process. this mother had posted a discussion topic on the facebook page and i sent her a note. she wrote back almost immediately and began to tell me about their process and had a link to her blog. it's amazing to me how open people are.

i've been reading a lot of blogs lately. i think it's really therapeutic and helpful to do research from (hopefully) unbiased parents going through the adoption process. they post when adoption paper work is filed, when home studies are done, when adoptions fall through, when babies are placed, when the adoptions are finalized, and continue pouring our their souls to the current date. it's really opened our eyes to a number of agencies we had not heard of before (wacap) and helped us to understand how complicated this entire process is going to be.

since will is feeling better, we really feel like we are at a good place to get things going. we're going to keep on doing our homework and hopefully narrow down the choices we have within the next few months. with all of the helpful bloggers, great websites, and facebook broadcasters, i am sure we will end up where we should.