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Catching our Rainbows

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To say it has been a while since my last post is an understatement, and there are a few great reasons for this…first we gave up. Yep you heard that right, my amazing husband and I truly and totally gave up on the idea of having children. After 4 miscarriages, 2 failed fertility treatments, and countless days, months, and years of hoping that the stick would turn pink, we threw in the towel. Its not that we gave up on God or even the idea that God had an amazing plan for our lives, we just came to the conclusion that ultimately it was not up to us, and we needed to live our lives, to find the joy in the amazing gift we did have…our marriage.

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Now this is when we get to the good stuff….

Like I said we decided to be happy just being married and we gave everything to God. Image result for caution – if you are going to give everything to God, please be ready to move, figuratively and literally.

Now that we got that warning out of the way I will continue. Sometime in the beginning of 2017 we got amazing news that resulted in my husband having to find a new job. I know most people wouldn’t say that is amazing; however, we really took this as a door opening, and the circumstances that led to this truly was wonderful news. Anyhow, we prayed, talked, and thought about what this might mean for our future, in a very hard decision I left my place of employment after nearly 3 years and decided to go back to the mortgage business, we didn’t know how quickly my husband would be able to find work. Well, he ended up getting this amazing job interview; however, it was about an hour and a half from where we live, and we were toying with the idea of moving, unbeknownst to us, God had an even better opportunity in mind. The day of this wonderful interview another guy contacted my husband and asked to meet him, and offered him the job on the spot; only problem, it was 3 hours south of where we lived. The job was more pay, excellent benefits, and he would be in middle management and I said “no”. I was not moving to South Florida in June non the less, and then God tugged at my heart as he does when he is guiding us.I agreed to go check out the area and next thing you know we are signing a lease at an apartment in Palm Beach County… The story gets better, like WAY better!

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I ended up finding a job in the mortgage industry and getting to know my co-worker…she was such a blessing. My company sent me to New York for training in July…hold on to you seats, cause GOD IS SO GOOD. As I was leaving my first day of training I noticed my husband had been blowing up my phone…calls, texts, voice messages, I think if he knew how to send smoke signals he would have. Now just to give you some insight, my husband is very…VERY..laid back. He does not do this. He will call, maybe text, and then wait. Not this time. So of course I assumed the worse, someone was dead, he was dead, there was a major earthquake and all my family in California are at the bottom of the Pacific (my mind is a scary place when I let it worry). In a panic I called him back and the conversation went something like this….

H: Hello?

Me: What’s wrong, who’s dead? Are you ok?

H: Babe, calm down! I’m fine, no one is dead that I know of….

Me: Uhhh then what is going on?

H: I just spoke to my cousin and he asked if we would be interested in adopting the twins.

Me: ……

H: Babe?

Me: Uh, what? When? What? ARE YOU SERIOUS???

Obviously the conversation went a few rounds of me repeating are you serious, hubby saying, yes, me asking him to tell me every single word that was said. Because, well you know, stuff like this only happens to other people.

Hang in there…I will explain… but I want to give you some back story.

In April my husbands cousin had twin baby girls, we really were not all that close, but knew that she gave birth and wished her well. A month or so later we heard through our family that she wasn’t doing so well. I remember this night as if it were yesterday…a very nondescript night became an amazing part of our story. Hubby and I were sitting on the floor in our living room and off handily I said to him, “you know, if she needs someone to look after the girls I would do it…whatever they needed, I would step up.” He agreed and we went on our marry way.

As I said before, we had a lot going on after that point, finding a new home in a new place, leaving my safety net of my job, my work family, and finding a new place of work, and moving..YUCK.

When July came around, we had heard that the girls were living with their amazing grandma and once again the tugging in our hearts happened, so much so that my husband called his mom and told her that if his aunt needed someone to take care of the girls we were willing and we left it at that.

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Sometimes in life things seem to get worse before they get better, this was the case in early July. Sadly my husbands aunts house caught on fire causing his aunt, uncle, and all the kids including the girls to move into a hotel. Strangely this happened the same day my husband called his mom. You say coincidence, I say God.  And this leads us to the previously mentioned phone call in the middle of July….the call that changed our lives forever. Oh and in case you were wondering, my mother in law never had the right opportunity to tell my husbands aunt that we would take the girls…she named us all on her own.

After I got home from NY, we went to meet the girls and fell in love instantly! I knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never realized how big that hole in my heart was until these 2 perfect girls filled it. To say our lives have changed would be an understatement, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Fast forward to today….we have had the girls with us since the beginning of September, 8 months exactly as of yesterday, and we are in the process of adopting them…fingers crossed it will be finalized by the end of next month.

I promise to fill you all in on the joys and craziness of going from no kids to a family of 4 literally over night, but that will be for another day.

Just remember wherever you are on this crazy journey called life, God is with you! He has never left you and he does have an amazing plan for you. Trust me I KNOW life can be hard and feel like you are stumbling around in the darkness, but if you cling to the light, you will always find your way.

As always, thank you for reading my ramblings and following us on this crazy journey…

We FOUND our rainbow(s) and it is better than anything we could have ever dreamed.

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Upward Climb Downward Slide

It has been quite a while since I have sat down to write. Every time I would start, there was a block or I just didn’t feel it, so I stopped. Hopefully, I’ll actually complete this one.

Last I blogged I believe we were waiting for the green light for the home visit portion of our home study, well we got it and we had our first home visit in the end of October. We planned to hear from our case worker shortly after to schedule the second one, but I figured the silence was due to Thanksgiving approaching. Shortly after Thanksgiving, I received an email from our case worker telling us that she resigned and that the agency was not going to replace her. The next closest office to us is over 2 hours away and that the wait time for us to complete our home study would be a while. I contacted her director and she said the same thing. Apparently the wait time to be placed with an infant at their agency went from 18mo to 2 yrs to now 4-5 years. WHAT?!?!?! I was floored to say the least. The husband and I had some praying and thinking to do. I called around to other agencies but the majority of them charge double what the agency we were going through charged, and we weren’t entirely sure where that money was coming from. In the end we decided to have the money refunded to us that we spend on the home study. Our option was to start all over again. Saying I felt defeated is an understatement. It was as if I had been hiking up a giant hill made of shale, unfortunately the rocks got the better of us and we slid all the way back to the base of the hill. It is heartbreaking to say the least; however, through much prayer and soul searching I realized my hope had not run out, and I hold fast to the Lords promises “There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.” Exodus 23:26 as well as Psalm 113:9 “He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!”

This brings me to the here and now. Through seeking the Lord and his desire for our life, we have decided to put a hold on the adoption plan. This doesn’t mean that we wont pursue it in the future and I now have a better idea of what that all entails. We have decided to go back to the basics. To seek the Lord first, to focus on our marriage, on our health, and to trust in the Lords plan for our life. As it stated in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Back to basics, faith; Faith that God has a plan for me, for us, and for our family. I know that some day we will have a little one running around our home, I don’t know how that is going to come to pass, but I have faith and I have hope that this is going to be so.

As always thank you for reading my ramblings and following us on this journey to our Rainbow.

God Bless

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Recalculating

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Is there anything more frustrating when you are trying to get somewhere and your GPS all of a sudden yells at you, “RECALCULATING!” UGH! That word is so annoying. Sometimes you know exactly why the GPS is repeating this over and over; you thought you knew better than the computer and struck out on your own in search for a short-cut, or a better way. Other times, you have no idea why you are being asked to make a u-turn. Chances are you missed the multiple warnings that your turn was approaching and went right past it, either way, you will inevitably end up right back where you should have been. There are times that my stubborn streak comes out and I want to keep driving and show that GPS who knows best by making a whole bunch of unnecessary turns to lead me back to where I started, but I have learned that the best thing to do in these situations is to find the next safest place to turn around, it really does save time and frustration.

Sometimes I feel as though this journey to our Rainbow Baby is being “Recalculated”. At times I’m not sure  if I have decided that going this on my own ended me up in a cul de sac, or if I completely tuned out the voice that was telling me my turn was approaching, but either way it seems that I am making a U-turn. It can be frustrating and exhausting, especially when other people seem to reach the destination before you. LOL. pregnancy-test-23054700

The one HUGE difference between this journey with God as my GPS and my car’s GPS is that God doesn’t need to update his maps, he knows all of the tiny changes in my path. He knows where the detours are, and when a new building was constructed that hinders my way. In Hebrews 10:23 we are told “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;” I know that when I am faced with a voice that is exclaiming “Recalculating”, if I hold fast to my hope in the Lord, my u-turn will come up and I will be back on the road that he has laid before me.

I know that my plans are not always Gods plans, and if I keep pushing on down the road toward my goals, my wants, my idea of the way life should be, that eventually I will have to make a u-turn. Sometimes that u-turn doesn’t come up as quickly as I’d like, and the path back to where the Lord wanted me isn’t an easy one. It reminds me of Jonah, if he would have just listed to God the first time he wouldn’t have needed to be swallowed by a Big fish, and that fish wouldn’t have left him further away from his destination from when he started.

To be honest I am not sure where this journey will lead me; adoption, IVF, miracle pregnancy, or in the end without kids, but I do know that I plan to trust God and his timing every step of the way, even if that path has to be “recalculated” a few times.

As always thank you for reading my ramblings, and if no one did, thank you to my blog for letting me get these thoughts out of my head.

God Bless.

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Mothers Day – A Nice Carnation Day

As a child mothers day was one of those holidays that I tried to do something nice for my mom. Maybe I didn’t argue with my brother (as much), or I cleaned my room without being asked. I made my mom a card at school to go along with a macaroni necklace, and on the actual day we would get dressed up in nicer clothes, get in the car and all head out to Sizzler where my mom would get greeted with a beautiful carnation, LOL, then as a family we would have all you can eat salad bar or maybe all you can eat shrimp.sizzler

As a young adult, Mothers Day became more of a pot-luck kinda day. I would bring my mom flowers, carnations of course :), have a late lunch, and spend time with family, and they were nice days. At some point however; after 4 miscarriages, multiple fertility treatments, and now an adoption that has been put on hold, Mother’s Day doesn’t seem so “nice”. It seems more like a looming rain cloud.

You see last year I decided to brave church on mothers day. It was a beautiful service, and my church does such a fabulous job of celebrating those of us who aren’t feeling the warm and fuzzies on that particular day, but it was oh so sad and heartbreaking. I had, and still have, such amazing support from family and friends, I am so incredibly thankful for everyone, but I’m going to be honest, Mothers Day is TORTURE!!! Now for those of you who are in similar shoes, please don’t think that I am trying to discourage you from going to church or celebrating mothers day. I don’t regret going last year, it was healing in its own way, and I sometimes we really need other people to say “I Love you and I’m sorry”. God has an amazing way of mending the holes in our hearts and I know that God will mend yours too. A side note to all the supportive well wishers, if you know someone who is going through a hard Mothers Day, a warm hug, and a smile, maybe even share something funny, or just a squeeze of the hand to let them know you are there goes a long way. Please don’t look at them with pity or ignore them because you feel uncomfortable, this is a very hard holiday for some women, so just be kind, we the hurting, are truly happy for you mom’s, we truly love you and we celebrate you! Enjoy this holiday, no matter where you are in this journey… with that being said….This year will be different…

This year  I am going to wish every incredible mother I know a happy mothers day in advance. I am going to sleep in that day, and then my amazing husband is going to take me out on the boat, far away from all things flowers, facebook, cell service, and warm wishes. I am going to enjoy what I have and not dwell on what I don’t have. I’m sure, when I wake up Sunday morning there will be tears for my little ones that are in heaven and tears for the little ones that are only dreams, but it is my choice on how I handle this “nice” day; and this year I chose to celebrate the life I have, the man I love, and the future we have together.

God has bless my husband and I mightily, and I am so thankful for what I do have. A good friend reminded me not too long ago, while I was comparing my life to others, she said, yes, they have amazing lives and seem to be so blessed, but do you want their life or do you want the life you have? Without hesitation, I want the life I have. As Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy”, and no one, including me, is going to steal my joy because my joy comes from the Lord and it is my strength!

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*** A quick update on this adoption journey. As many of you know, my husband became unemployed the day we found out our application for adoption was approved. So, I spoke to our Adoption person, and she has now said that we have to wait until my husband can prove employment for “several” months before they will even consider scheduling our home study…so essentially, the adoption process is on hold for now. Sometimes I feel like that Paula Abdul song “Opposites Attract”… you know the part that says “I take two steps forward, you take two steps back…” yeah, I keep moving forward, yet we don’t seem to be getting any closer. 🙂 It can be very frustrating, but there is one thing that I can place all my trust in, God has Got This!!! He is in perfect control, and the truth is, if we never have children, well then I will be thankful forever for the amazing husband, best friend, and partner he has put in my life.

On that note 🙂 …

Happy Mothers Day to all of you mom’s, mom to be’s, want to be moms, almost moms, and grieving moms. I hope it is a carnation filled “nice” day. ❤

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Amazing Company

Excited! I am so very excited! To be completely honest I was very hesitant to start this adoption journey, but now…now I am so very excited!

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What sparked this utter enthusiasm you may be asking? I will tell you, it was my husband. We were having a conversation earlier and discussing if we were sad with God’s decision about us being parents. It wasn’t a deep conversation, more of a thought in passing…I know sounds a little major to be in passing, but in passing it was. I went about my day and the thought of if I was sad with God for the path he is seemingly taking down, and then it hit me…Nope! I’m not sad I am EXCITED! I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I am throwing a party for infertility or for lost pregnancies because that is very far from the truth. In fact, I am very sad about the fact that there is a very good possibility that I will never know what it will feel like to grow a sweet precious baby in my belly, to feel the flips and kicks, to go to the Dr and see that sweet little tadpole turn into a face that has my eyes and the husbands nose, this honestly, breaks my heart, but…and this is a major but…I AM going to be a mom! Just because I wont be giving birth to our child(ren) doesn’t mean that they aren’t mine. I know without a shadow of a doubt that there is no way I would be able to love a child of my flesh and blood any more than I will love this child that God has planned for us.

In the last few weeks I have found comfort in the best place of comfort, my Bible. I started thinking about some of the great men and women in the bible, people who are forever immortalized between the pages of the greatest book ever written. These people were all adopted; people like Moses, Esther, and the greatest of all Jesus. What amazing company my child will keep, not to mention, Batman, Superman, and Spider-man. LOL. It seems it might be a prerequisite to be adopted to be a superhero. 😀  In 1 Samuel 1:27 it states “I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart”, how wonderful is that verse? It doesn’t say that I prayed for this child and I will give birth, it leaves the door wide open to adoption, fostering, guardianship, godparents; there are so many ways that we can become “parents” and I for one am very thankful for that.

This journey of adoption, though it has just begun, has changed my world. I have met so many amazing people on this road that I would have never met otherwise. As some of you know the husband and I are planning a Fundraising Yard Sale to help with the cost of the home study we have coming up. Being that we have moved just a few times back and forth across this great country of ours, we have downsized more times than I can count, so we are not the ideal candidates for a garage full of unwanted items. That being said we reached out to our community using social media and the old fashioned way…word of mouth. We simply asked people if they would donate items for our yard sale, we were more than happy to pick up these items. Oh my gosh did the community respond! We have a 400sqft den in our house and it is just about full of donated items, and we are not done yet. I have to tell you, I am a tad bit overwhelmed with the thought that we have to go through and price all of these items LOL, but I welcome the challenge. We have met some of the kindest most giving people while picking up their used items, and each one has a story to tell; either they know someone who is adopted, they have adopted, their siblings are adopted, they were adopted. It is so amazing how much adoption has touched so many people. We are so grateful to every single person who has donated, spread the word, prayed for us, and supported us through this process. I told the husband this morning that I am starting to get overwhelmed, and I know we aren’t even at the overwhelming stages yet. 🙂

This journey through life is a crazy one, and it has taken me places I never in a million years thought I would go. It reminds me of a verse in the song “Dream for You” by Casting Crowns “So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you I have a dream for you” … It is taking some time, but I am learning how great life can be if I let God dream for me.

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Now back to attacking the hoarders dream, that is my Yard Sale stash. 🙂

If you want to follow us on this crazy ride you can always check out our FB page BringHomeBabyWhitley – please let me know if this link doesn’t work. 🙂

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings, and if none one does, thank you blog for letting me get my thoughts out.

God Bless.

#Bringhomebabywhitley

 

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Lemons into Lemonade

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A few days ago my husband and I got the most incredible news, we finally got notice that our application to Adopt had been approved!!!  I don’t think I can even describe the amount of crazy emotions that ran rampant though both of us. Excitement, joy, happiness, nervousness, shock, and then the fear, doubt, depression, anxiety set in; why the negative feelings you ask? Well, about an hour before that joyous news came by way of email, we got some not so great news. After our much needed and super amazing trip to California to see my side of the family and our friends, my husband was informed that he no longer had a job.

*WHAM* just like that life happened. We were so not prepared and our emotions were definitely not prepared for the whiplash of bad news and then almost instantaneous amazing news to happen. We were reeling. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t like uncertainty and I don’t like to not be in control, so I started planning my move back home to my “comfort zone”, (side note to my Florida family and friends, we are not moving across the country). You see, my husband and I have been together going on 14 years, but we have been married for about 4 1/2, so I was in charge of taking care of myself for most of my adult life, and old habits die hard. I wanted to go back to where I knew I could support us, where I wasn’t depended on anyone; don’t miss read this, my husband does an amazing job of taking care of me, supporting me, and providing for me, and I know that he will continue to do so, it was just me, my fears, my doubts, my lack of trust and faith in not only my husband, but also in the Lord who knows the plans that are already in motion. He says in Matt 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …” And I plan to trust that.

I strongly believe that God made a way that we would get the news of my husbands lack of employment, and then we would be given the encouragement of the Adoption Approval right after. It was the best way to turn our lemons into lemonade. I’m not going to lie, it took me nearly 48 hours to stop my crazy plan to move for the 6th time,  mind you, back across the country; however, when I finally took a deep breath, and stopped talking to God, but I listened and stayed calm, I felt at peace about staying where we are. I know that we are still so very new and in the beginning stages of adoption, but I really don’t want to start the process all over. The truth is, we just want to be parents, and as far as I can see, God is on board with that plan 110%; or should I say we are still on board with God’s plan. 🙂

We are still looking for a job for my husband, and there have to be some major life changes for now, but we are headed forward, and we are not going to let anything stand in the way between us and our baby. With that said, I better get started on the mountain of paper work that awaits me.

As always thank you for reading my ramblings. We deeply appreciate all the prayers, encouragement, support, love, and thoughts that continue to come our way.

God Bless.

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Following the Yellow Brick Road…

 

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Sometimes this journey we are on feels a little like what I would imagine Dorothy felt when she landed in Oz and her house fell out of the sky landing on the witch; she was scared, unsure, most definitely dizzy, and I am sure felt like life was unfair. Little did Dorothy know her journey had just began and what she would learn along the way was worth the discomfort she was feeling. There is also another similarity between Dorothy and her destination and that of our journey; the yellow brick road didn’t end exactly how she anticipated…remember the “GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ” was, well, just a guy…as for us, the end of our yellow brick road may just end up being in the form of Adoption and we couldn’t be more excited!

Some maybe wondering where this all came from; for those of you who follow my ramblings 🙂 may remember that about a year ago we went through orientation for adoption, at that time we did not feel it was the road that God was leading us down. We decided through many conversations and much prayer to try fertility treatments, and as you know, that didn’t work out so well for us. So we gave it a break. We were coming into the holiday season anyway and decided to give my body, and our emotions a break and just enjoy the holidays with family, friends, and each other without the stress of fertility. It was a good holiday season.

On New Years Eve I was sitting on the couch, scrolling though Facebook (like any self respecting thirty something woman) and came upon a post that will forever change my life. A friend of mine had just posted a video of the finalization of the adoption of their little girl, I cried! (Please excuse the rabbit trail for a second, but I want to thank Facebook for reconnecting my friend and I after many many years. She is an amazing woman, mother, wife, and friend…and my life is so much better with her in it, even if it is via social media.) At that time I got this over whelming feeling that I wanted to open the door to the possibility of adoption so I ran, yes really truly ran outside to find the husband. I told him that I wanted to revisit the idea of adoption and he said ok. There was no “why”, or “where did this come from”, just ok. This is one of the MANY reasons I love this man, he just trusts me and loves me so very much that even when my ideas seemingly come out of no where he is willing to hear me out. I told him about the video I watched, we talked, prayed, and started dreaming of our little family again.

Both of us had a since of peace about the decision to adopt and so we took the next step and filled out the paperwork; there is a LOT of paperwork. 🙂 We went down and met with our Family Pastor, which awesome enough, his family also adopted their son, from the same agency I might add, and about a week later we drove the hour to Jacksonville to meet with the adoption counselor to turn in everything. Apparently there was additional forms to fill out because it had been a year since we went to orientation, so she emailed those to us, and finally all the forms are completed and sent off. 🙂

And now we wait for the initial approval…

Much like our friend Dorothy, who didn’t just end up in the Emerald City, we are now following our own yellow brick road, and I for one am so very excited about who we will meet on our way. I know that this road will not be easy, I am sure we will encounter some of our very own flying monkeys, but unlike Dorothy who discovered that THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ…was just a man, the one we are putting our trust in is the GREAT I AM! He will not lead me astray and I know He has great plans for me.
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I am so excited for all of you to follow us on our journey. We’re off to see the Wizard, well you know what I mean. LOL.

As always, thank you for reading my ramblings, and if no one does, then thank you to this blog site for letting me get thoughts in my head down in print.

God Bless!

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