Monday, July 14, 2014

Adoption: The World of Papers, Lists, Anxiety and Blessing

Ok, not really anxiety.  At least it shouldn't be!  I'm trying really hard to stay organized and stress-free during this process, but I'm failing...often.  That's ok - I'm pressing on!  She is worth it!

I've been thinking a lot about bring Frances home this past week.  I know, I'm a little ahead of myself considering we are still waiting for our homestudy approval...ha!  I just can't help it.

4 girls' hair to fix in the morning
6 kids,which means only using the 12 passenger van for family trips from now on
2 preschoolers, both with special needs and specialized lesson plans
Asian eyes, oh those eyes!
My last Fourth of July with only five kids
2 big girl helper-mommies for two little girls
2 big brothers to protect and spoil 4 sisters
Chubby little 4 year old hands
A best friend for Miracle

I am so beyond excited!

But, adoption is hard because you live in this world of hope and waiting while you drown in paperwork, numbers, fundraising, phone calls, planning, budgeting, notaries and STRESS.

I have so many lists:
  • Tips for traveling to China
  • Suggested foundations and grants
  • Grants for special needs
  • Grants for Down Syndrome
  • Grants for China
  • Credit cards that give rewards
  • Fundraising ideas
  • People who have donated to us
  • People who have offered to help in numerous ways
  • People whose tables I still have from our garage sale
  • Tips for filling out paperwork
  • Books about adoption
  • Books about Down Syndrome
  • Books about Down Syndrome adoption
It's nuts!  I'm not complaining.  I am SO happy to be here after our long journey.  I'm gonna fill out this paperwork jammin' to my For King & Country and take it in stride.  But, I can't say it's not hard.  It is.  For many reasons.

It's hard to know your little girl is being tucked in bed by the only mama she knows as I wake in the morning.  And that someday our roles will be reversed and she'll be thinking of the memories of tucking Frannie in bed as she wakes in the morning.

It's hard to know there is another mama out there that delivered a baby on Sept 22, 2010 that is about to come upon the forth year of her mourning.  No matter what reason her mama had for abandoning her, I know that every mama loves their baby.  Four years of not knowing, four years of tears, four years of guessing and hoping.  Four long years of sadness that will never, ever end.

"The first gave you a need for love, The second was there to give it."

Adoption is heartbreaking.  For every ounce of joy I have in adoption, there is still a heaviness of sadness.

But, I also believe that for all the hardships families endure throughout the process, there are so many blessings.  All these things are shaping me, my family, my children.  We are working together to raise money, budget and be creative.  Our goal is unified in love.  I hope some day Frannie's biological mama will know how much she is loved and wanted.

My 8 year old told me this weekend that she wants to have a child with special needs.  She wants to BIRTH a child with special needs.  (Though she also wants to 'make' her Asian husband be a pilot some day so he can fly them to China to work at an orphanage and adopt all the little Asian babies, LOL!) We talked a little bit about why we love people with special needs so much and then I told her that if I had a choice to heal Myra and Frannie, I would.  I told her that they aren't living how God created them to live.  They can't enjoy creation to it's fullest.  They may or may not be able to understand a God that loves them dearly on this side of Heaven.  I would choose 'better' for them.

You know what this little girl said?

She said she would keep them 'that way' because she LOVES them 'that way' and she also wouldn't change them because she KNOWS they would go to Heaven because God wouldn't punish someone who didn't understand sin.

Jaw drop.  Speechless.

I'm not sure I can come up with an argument against that!  Oh how I love that little spunky girl's heart!

 Angelica Pickles (8), Miracle and Princess Pea, Easter 2014

I know some friends and family (mostly those who don't live near) think we are crazy and are negatively affecting our 'neurologically typical' biological children by adopting another child with special needs (thanks Uncle Isaac for the coined term!).  It's not a conversation that ends in a high five or fist bump.  It usually starts with a wide-eyed stare and stutter, and ends with a high-pitched 'Good Luck' accompanied by an insincere eye-brow raise.  That's ok with me, though.  It truly doesn't bother me.

#1 I'm following my God's lead for my life, not the world's
#2 I see the benefits of having a sibling with special needs daily in my children's life
#3 I know the difference we can make in the life of an orphan
#4 I'm stubborn and enjoy going against the grain  :)
#5 I get my fist bumps from my friends who have children with special needs, nurses, therapists, etc.

And I'm not Super Mom, as so many have told me over the years.  I fail at my plans, yell at my kids, watch Call the Midwife instead of clean my kitchen, argue with my peacemaking husband, skip Miracle's therapy, make cereal for dinner, skim Facebook instead of playing a game with my kids, wait until I have 10 loads of laundry to do.... all the things other 'normal' moms do.  I'm a work in progress, too.  I can say, I do work very hard to accomplish my goals of trying to be the best mom.  That's all I've ever wanted - to be THE best mom.  I'm not.  By far!  But, I can accept grace where it's needed and move forward, trying even harder.  That doesn't make me Super, that makes me FORGIVEN.  God looks through the blood of Jesus at my face and smiles.  Not because I did it all right, but because Christ did.  He's the Super Hero!  No cape under my shirt!

This is sort of a random post of my thoughts, so I thought I would share something silly...

A few weeks ago I realized the colors that represent Down Syndrome awareness were blue and yellow.  These colors are special to Mr. Prince and me because they were BOTH our favorite colors in college.  I thought that was pretty cool when I found out.  We will be rockin' happily in Down Syndrome awareness attire!

Today I read about why World Down Syndrome Awareness Day is March 21st.  This date represents the 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, which is Down Syndrome or Trisomy 21.  My FAVORITE numbers since I was a little girl were 3 and 21!  My birthday is on the 21st, so that's part of it.  But, I thought that was cool as well.  Corny but Cool!  :P

I have some other great news to share...

We are coming SO close to our Fundraising goals!  $35,000 is a LOT of money.  And we hadn't considered international adoption prior to 2013 because of this.  Where is our one-income family going to come up with that kind of money?  I know, I know....God can do anything.  But, it just didn't sink in that way back then.  It was a burden to even consider.

Check these numbers out:

$2500 saved for the homestudy and application fee
$7000 grant Frannie already had on Reece's Rainbow
$1600 raised at our Adoption Garage Sale in June
$300 cash donations
$5000 allotted out of our taxes for 2015
$2000 saved from only MommyK traveling to China
$3000 *estimated* savings from budgeting in 2014
$1500 *estimated* to be raise at another Garage Sale
$4500 pain and suffering settlement from an accident in May *JUST RECEIVED*

So...that puts us at an *estimated* $7,600 left to be raised!  The ONLY way those numbers have added up is because we have a God that can do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine!  Only $15,000 more and we can bring home TWO kids from China!  We are going to keep plugging along fundraising and applying for grants and see what God does!  The agency said it's a long shot that we would get a waiver for another child, but don't forget....our God can do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine!

I can't wait to see the end of our story.  In the mean time, I'm going to keep learning and listening and allowing God to chip away at me, refining me to be the mom he's created for all SIX of my current children...and any other children that may come our way by birth or adoption.  :)

Join me!

MommyK and Miracle

If you feel called to donate to our adoption, there is a PayPal tab at the top right corner of this blog just above Frannie's photo.  You do not need a PayPal account to donate.  May your blessing to us come back to you ten-fold!