Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oh Christmas tree...

As I was going back through Christmas pictures today, I was struck by this one that was quickly snapped with my phone when I realized I never got a pretty picture of the girls sitting in front of the tree together:

It was a hilarious little moment in time as prior to this picture, I got one of Sam grabbing her big sisters face and laying a big wet one on her (something TOTALLY out of character for her, as Sam refuses to be kissed or kiss anyone-EVER), so I got a couple of genuine grins out of this shot. But that's not what caught me off guard in this picture. It's this part of the picture that caused me to inhale quickly and smile:

That bear, nestled into our tree, right above Liv's head? That was given to us by my grandma, my childrens great-grandma, for our someday-soon son. 

While I was so busy feeling sad that we weren't able to celebrate Christmas with a new baby in our house, seeing this picture reminds me that God places everything perfectly in his time. Even a bear in a Christmas tree.

I had visions of our three kiddos placed sweetly in front of the tree with their matching outfits this year, when instead I got a big sister squeezing the life out of little sis, who is wearing her 3-day-old OSU jersey that she refuses to take off, and a sweet reminder in the way of a perfectly placed stuffed bear ornament, that God cares about the little things, just as he cares about the bigger things.

As I sit and wonder why our adoption process isn't moving as quickly as I would like, He knows about the birth mom, and her story. He's got her story, and ours, lined up just perfectly to meet someday soon.

While I'm having my pity party as a result of not being able to dress my kiddos in a hideously matched fashion, what is she doing? Maybe she's grieving. Maybe she went through Christmas knowing that the child she is carrying would not be a child she would raise. Maybe she went through Christmas wondering if she made the right choice in carrying the baby at all. 

While I pout and stomp my foot at the fact that we haven't hit our goal financially for our adoption, I am reminded that God has my back. He's got this. And birth mom? He's got her back too. However she got to the place she's at- whatever decisions shes made to get to the point she's at now, I can rest assured that he is holding her hand, and ours, the entire way to our meeting place. And that brings me some peace. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Having a moment...

Im having "a moment" over the fact that our 2 girl (or so we thought) guinea pigs just had babies together.
Who WOULDN'T be caught off guard by finding wee piggies in the cage, when I have been through Jr. High health class, and darn that Mr. Gardner for telling us that you need a boy and a girl with very particular bits and pieces to create a living being! Because these pigs are living proof that it's just not the case. (I suppose the other option could be that I plugged my ears during that *embarrassing* part of class, and Petco sold us the wrong gender. Whatev.)

Discovering that Miss Tasha was in fact a boy with very real boy pieces (ohmygoshgross), was one of the more horrifying moments in my life. Maybe it was thinking back to the hot pink barbie puffy vest he/she was often forced to wear by a certain 6-year-old girl, or the copious amounts of other barbie clothes he/she was shoved into, or the horror could just still be lingering from having that sweet gal at Critter Cabana show us how to tell the sex of our guinea pig- something by the way that I will never be able to erase from my poor, delicate mind. Excuse me while I dry heave one more time...
Either way, it hasn't changed the way we feel about him/her, because he/she is still our piggy and we love him/her.

(Oh Lordy- have I lost you yet??)

This whole gender confusion episode has had me thinking about all the weird/crazy/HARD things we do for our kiddos. (Finding a guinea pigs private parts for the sake of our children TOTALLY tops the "weird things" column in my parenting life book. And I pray to sweet baby Jesus that it doesn't get weirder than this- my prude little heart can't take it!!)

I'm thinking about specifically the HARD things parents do for their kiddos, or experience with them. I'm thinking of the friend that has a child who is allergic to everything under the sun, yet her faith remains unshaken. I'm thinking of the beautiful friend who is fighting for her girl with everything she has that was most recently diagnosed with autism and many food allergies. I'm thinking of the man I know that has to watch his daughter make life-altering poor choices in her adult life, but continues to love her through it.
It has me thinking about the hard stuff-not the guinea pig privates stuff- but the HARD stuff I've recently worked through with my own daughter, and what kind of HARD stuff I will encounter with our someday-soon son. I, a white-as-you-get woman, and John, a whiter-than-rice man, will be raising a black son, in a not-so-tolerant world. We will deal with hard hard stuff. We know this, and we are as ready as we will ever be for it. We know that there will be times that I'm going to want to beat the snot out of some kid that used a racial slur aimed toward my son. I know that there will be times, regardless of the unconditional love that we will have for him, that he will feel out of place, with a white mommy and daddy and two white sisters. We know this. We expect this.
The thing I adore about community, is that we are never EVER alone in the HARD stuff. I have full confidence in the fact that I could turn to nearly anyone in our beautiful, crazy village and be supported through that hard stuff. Adoption, and having children in general, is never a personal mission. It is something that can only be done when you are surrounded by people that genuinely love and care for you and are as excited about this new child as you are. You, my friends are a part of a crazy cool village. Get used to it. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another step closer!!

It's official: We have now created and ordered photo books for our agency! This is the final step before we are 'matched' with a birth mom.
We have been so amazed by the number of monetary gifts people have blessed us within this adoption journey. It is an incredible experience to see in tangible ways that so many people have got our backs. We have said from the beginning that we couldn't do this alone- emotionally or financially- and we are now stepping out, yet again, to ask: would you help?

If any of you have felt led to contribute to this adoption, now is the perfect time to do that, and here's why: Our agency cannot begin showing our profile books to birth moms until the total amount of money is in place to complete the adoption. I (Abbie) have around 500 Facebook friends- if those 500 people were able to donate $26, do you know that we would meet our goal? How cool would that be??
Thanks for being our go-to pals, our BFF's, our crazy-cool village. Thank you for your prayers and love- keep 'em coming!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alisha Vernon: Adoption

Whoa. It has been a crazy-long time since we've last updated this here blog. :) I've got a couple of update posts in the works, but for now I want to share this beautifully written post by our friend Alisha:

Alisha is a Mom, wife, artist, and her passion for women, moms, and families really shines through her art. I can't wait for you to see her work. So, go. Click the link, buy her art, support our adoption! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A way to help...

Many of our friends and family have asked about ways they could help through this process.

Number one, of course, is to pray for grace and patience to completely fill our days. Waiting on a little one is hard, and we've felt those prayers that are already being spoken on our behalf...THANK YOU!
This next option has been a tough one for us throughout this adoption journey: asking for help financially.
A friend who has been through the adoption process before mentioned to us that often times people would like to give financially, but are shy about it or don't feel comfortable 'just handing a check over'. We have now added a 'Donate' button on our blog that is linked to an account thats sole purpose is for adoption money. We have done so through Paypal, so rest easy that your information is kept secure and confidential. This has been an area that has been uncomfortable for us: this 'asking' of money. But, we know that probably more people than we know would like to help in whatever way they can. This process has proved time and time again for us that the cliche' phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" is truer than true. In our case, it takes a village to bring a child home.

Thank you for being a part of our village. It's a crazy-cool one. :)

Just don't call him late for dinner!

So, we've been discussing names in the Budd house lately. More specifically boy names. To be honest, we haven't felt real clear on a name, although we like to tease our Brother-in-law, who is a black man, and say that we are going to give our future black son the 'whitest' name possible. :)

Liv and Sam have definitely shared their opinions on names that we have come up with and even have come up with a few keepers of their own.
Sam is adamant about the fact that the baby will be called 'Emily Elizabeth'. Yes, she knows she is getting a baby brother. That doesn't seem to matter to her.
Liv- smart, 6-year-old Liv- suggested the name 'Cosmo'. *ahem* John agreed to go with the name as long as we could call him 'Cosmo Kramer Budd'.

Yep, these 2 girls are most definitely going to give their brother a run for his money...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Too much??

In March, John and I attended an informational meeting at a highly recommended adoption agency here in Portland, you know, to just 'get more information'. Once we drove up, we were so excited/nervous. In total Abbie fashion, I thought we should document every.single.step. of the process, you know, 'just in case' we decided to take the step towards adopting. Here's that picture:

Geez, tone it down, guys. It's just a meeting.

Gettin' this journey started!

Here is a letter we sent out to our family and friend via Facebook and email:

In case you haven't heard through the grapevine or via Facebook, we have begun the process of adoption! This has been something that has personally been on my (Abbie's) heart for years, but in recent months began to seriously think about as a family. Last month we attended an informational meeting at a wonderful adoption agency here in Portland, and after leaving immediately knew this is what God has laid on our hearts to do. We have known for a few years that our family just hasn't felt complete, but there was no desire on my (again, Abbie's) part to revisit my horrible pregnancies and all that those entailed. We are currently going through a specific program in this agency called the African American Infant program. This program works with agencies in the South (Texas, Florida and Georgia) to match Birth Mothers with families. So, we will be bringing a newborn baby boy in to our family, if all goes as planned, by the end of the year! We are nervous, but so incredibly excited about the idea that WE could have a son! We have been in awe the way God has completely guided this process so far. He truly has made it clear to us that he is walking along side us. 

So far, we have turned in our application (which has been accepted), been fingerprinted and background checked (all clear whew! haha), and now we patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for God to guide us through our first financial hurdle that we need to jump before we can begin our Home Study.

This is where you come in! :)

-We are asking if each of you would commit to really be praying for our family. That we will be filled with patience and a peace of mind through this process. We know that if God has called us to do this, that he WILL provide the money part of it. 

-For those of you that live locally, we are having an adoption fundraising garage sale this Saturday at our house! If you have things laying around that you think may sell well at a garage sale that are currently sitting in your Goodwill pile, we would love to take them off of your hands! Also, come SHOP! So far we have bunches of clothes (kids and adult), toys, household items, excellent condition washer and dryer, and much more. And if you feel like dropping a couple of dollars in the donation can, we certainly won't hold you back. :)

-Last but not least, on Sunday May 22nd, we will be having a spaghetti feed/silent auction at the Newberg Friends Center Gym starting at 12:00pm. We will give you more details closer to the time, but for now if you have any services or new items that you would like to donate for the silent auction, or if you would like to be involved by donating spaghetti noodles or sauce, that would be so cool. Any donation, monetary or otherwise gets us one step closer to being matched with a birth mom and bringing our sweet son home. We have been amazed at the ways people have blessed us so far. 

John and I have said, it is not just us and the girls that are adopting a son/brother, it is our entire community of friends and family who will be adopting him as well! It truly takes a village to raise a child, and we couldn't be more proud of our village. :)

Thanks for all your prayers and hugs and excitement as we continue on this journey! We love you all.