May 14, 2014

This Moment

I don't want to forget this moment, with your face covered in avocado and your mouth open for more.
I don't want to forget this moment, as you fall asleep in my arms no matter what's going on around us.
I don't want to forget this moment, when you squeal at me and kick your feet when I'm trying to get your pants on your wiggly little legs.
I don't want to forget this moment, you figuring out you can shout and get my attention without having to actually cry.
I don't want to forget this moment, as you give me open-mouthed, slimy kisses on my cheek.
I don't want to forget this moment, you on your belly, arms and legs moving, but you just can't get your torso off the floor.
I don't want to forget this moment, the way you giggle when your daddy plays with you.
I don't want to forget this moment, every moment of every single day.

February 25, 2014


Last night I burst into tears at bedtime. As Jarad asked me what was wrong, I blubbered, "I just remembered I didn't ever get to wear the bracelet I got with Milly's name on it. I was waiting for short sleeve weather."
I left my house on February 5 to run a couple of quick errands. Jarad was at his mom's house just down from ours. We'd both been spending as much time as possible there lately, but because of the flexible nature of his work, Jarad was there all the time. I dropped Milly off with him and took Madelyn with me.
We went to Walgreens to return an item for my mother-in-law, and we went to Walmart to get a few last minute items for a dinner we were having that night. In all, I was gone for about 90 minutes.
When I got home, the front door was open, just a crack.
I wasn't worried though. It has a tendency to blow open in the wind if you don't purposefully push it shut. It was very likely it didn't get closed properly when Madelyn was dropped off that morning. No big deal. I closed the door and locked the deadbolt, another way to ensure it stays closed.
Madelyn and I came into the house and after putting the groceries away I immediately started feeding her lunch.
Jarad texted me to call him about something, and our cell phones don't work super great out here in the sticks so I went to the bedroom to grab a house phone.
That's when I saw it.
My dresser was bare. It still had the flower vase and the framed family photo, but my two jewelry boxes were gone. All that was left was a ring of dust around where they should have been. (Note to self: Dust more thoroughly.)
My first reaction was to assume that Jarad was playing some kind of trick on me because he had noticed the door wasn't shut all the way. I mean, everything else of value was left behind. His brand new golf clubs, our TV and related electronics, even the very Macbook I am currently using, all left untouched. I texted Jarad to come home for a few minutes.
When he arrived, I said, "Very funny Friend. Trying to make me think we've been robbed. I'm not falling for it. You didn't even hide my laptop and it was sitting right out on the counter." Jarad was confused, and denied everything. I tried to call his bluff by saying I was calling the police right then. Time for him to come clean with his little joke.
He let me dial the number.
Jarad double-checked the whole house. All the closets and under the bed. I made him look behind the shower curtain in the guest bathroom. No one was there. And nothing else was missing. But, the deadbolt on our back door was broken. And of course, the front door was open when I had arrived.
Did they break the lock and come in through the back? Did they fail to properly close the front door and that's why it was blown open? Or did the wind blow it open and they just took the golden opportunity?
Jarad went back to his mom's house and I waited for the sheriff (or rather, his deputy) to arrive. We filed a report, but nothing would happen, and we knew it. We intended to check out some local pawn shops, but more important things were happening in our family.
The jewelry is just material possessions, I told myself.
And that's totally true. I could absolutely never think about it again if it was just all the silly earrings and necklaces I've bought at Target and Old Navy over the years.
But it's not just that.
It's the diamond necklace Jarad gave me before my junior prom. That was my first piece of jewelry from him, ever. Certainly not the last.
It's the delicate heart bracelet he gave me that broke a million times. We always had it repaired.
It's the anniversary band he gave me… five diamonds for five years.
It's my college and high school class rings. (I've now lost my mom's, my sister's, and my own. I should have seen that coming.)
It's the Swarovski earrings and bracelets he got me in London. I wore them in Milly's newborn pics. Now they're gone.
It's the necklace Milly's birthmom gave me at the baby shower.
It's 15 years of gifts from my husband.
And last night I remembered about the never-worn bracelet.
I'm crying again as I type this. They're not just material possessions. They have a huge sentimental signifigance in my life. And heaven knows how I freak out about lost sentimental jewelry.
I suppose I'm still upset about it now because at the time I didn't have any more emotional availability. My emotions were already stretched like a rubber band due to other, much-more-important problems.
I was a bit fearful for a few days, but then told myself to get over that. I'm still more vigilant about double-checking the doors are locked and the alarm is set. And I can't shake the feeling that the house might have been watched. That is CREEPY.
But, people get robbed (burglarized? I don't know which is which...) every day. Life goes on.
The good news is that most of the sentimental jewelry comes from Moody's, and they have a lady there who helps you with insurance claims and discounts on replacement pieces. It won't be the same, but it will be close.
And it could have been much, much worse.
We could have been home.
They could have taken my laptop full of digital memories. (MUST BACK THOSE UP!)
They could have ransacked the house.
They didn't get my wedding ring.
We could have caught them in the act when we arrived back home, forcing them to commit a more heinous crime.
It just sucks, though.
Ask my friends, I'm always spouting off about being more trusting of people and how you should just relax and not assume that everyone everywhere is out to get you.
Next time the topic comes up, I'll probably still argue that point. But, with a little less fervor. Thanks to this fallen world, I'm now a little more jaded.

January 15, 2014

Our Adoption Story, Part 5: Worth the Wait

Required reading: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
Milly was due on November 12th, so as part of my nesting insanity (Nesting: It's Not Always Hormonal) I insisted we ditch our carpet and install wood (laminate) flooring. It was late October, but Jarad is handy and has some helpful friends, so we had plenty of time.
Over the course of a week or so, Jarad and his various friends worked evenings and weekends to get the carpet pulled out and the wood put in. They did Milly's room, Jarad's office, the hallway, and the dining room.
On October 30th, around 7pm, Jarad and Kent were working on our living room, the final room. Our house was ridiculous. The kitchen and hallways were full to the brim with our dining room table and chairs, couches, TV, coffee table, trim pieces, wood scraps, tools, and more. I had fallen once, and knocked trim pieces into the counters multiple times. Everything was covered in that thick layer of dust that always comes with renovation. They were getting so close to being finished. I was excited to help soon with putting the furniture back in place and super-duper-cleaning everything so it would sparkle. We still had 2 weeks until Milly's due date.
Just then, a text message. Amanda was having strong contractions, and her doula (a lovely gift provided by CPO) told her to time them for an hour and call her back. An hour later, Amanda texted (or called? I can't remember) to say she was headed to the hospital on the advice of the doula. Contractions were getting closer and closer together.
Aaaaaack! Yaaaaaaay! Our house is a disaster! Who cares! We're having a baby! Yikes!!!!
We gathered up our bags (I had JUST packed them THAT NIGHT) and with one last look at the shambles our house was in, we rushed off to the hospital. I kept thinking how crazy it would be to bring a baby home to that, and then thinking, "Oh well! It could be worse. What a fun story we'll have to tell Milly when she gets older."
We arrived at the hospital and waited 30 minutes for Amanda and her mother to arrive. When they arrived, the fun began!
We rushed up to the labor and delivery floor, there was a water-breaking incident (it involved shouting and much awkwardness for all involved), we were ushered right into our room and then we… waited. We had arrived round 10pm or so, by 1am Amanda received her epidural, and we all settled in for a nap, including Amanda. I woke up a few times and felt SO GUILTY for sleeping. But everyone else was sleeping too, so I'd drift back off.
One time I woke up as a nurse entered the room. I thought, "Must. Stay. Awake. Might. Be. Important." and promptly drifted off again. Suddenly I was awakened by Amanda shouting, "WHAT??" It turned out, while we all slept, Amanda had dilated from a 4 to a 10. I don't know much about labor and delivery (not my area, obviously), but I do know that 10 = GO TIME! Woooo!
It was about 5am, and we waited for the doctor to be dragged out of bed and into the delivery room. When he arrived, there were several good pushes and suddenly, MILLY WAS HERE. It was 5:53am on October 31st. (Yes... Halloween. Oh well. Amanda says it's a reason to finally enjoy the holiday.)
I almost cut the cord too early because I didn't listen to the directions, but it's okay, everyone is still alive.
I cried as she was delivered. It was a very surreal experience.
I cried again when Amanda handed her to me.
I cried again when she was finished being picked at and I was able to sit and rock her. In that moment I prayed over her, for her little tiny life that was beginning, and I was completely overwhelmed with joy and fear and everything in between.
For much of the day, we stayed in the delivery room and passed Milly around. Amanda was doing great, and Milly was too.
Eventually, we each got our own separate rooms and although we spent most of our time in Amanda's room, we sometimes left her alone to nap or gave her solo time with Milly.
At one point during our stay, we received the following text message.
Here are the larger pics, showing everything finished and put in place and CLEAN!
It made me cry. What a relief. After having told our families to stay away from the hospital to protect the Amanda's limited time with Milly, I was dreading telling them that even after we were home with her they had to wait until our house was remotely presentable.
This amazing gift was such a huge relief, and a testament to what great things friends (who are family, too) can do to show they care.
Milly was born on a Thursday, and we went home from the hospital Saturday morning. During our stay we bonded with not only Milly, but Amanda and her whole family. There was laughter, tears, lots of fast food, and very little sleep. It was a beautiful experience, and I couldn't have imagined it being any better.
When we arrived home, we were greeted by everyone on The Compound. Tamara and Daniel and Madelyn came and brought coffee, cupcakes, cookies, and sign in activities for our visitors. My family came, Jarad's family came, Tamara's family came. Everyone had a great time loving on Milly.
It has now been more than two months, and I still can't believe that she is ours. She's so wonderful and perfect and silly and cute.
There will be a Part 6, but it will be a while. Between now and then, we have some hoops to jump through and several court dates. But believe me, when it's all said and done, I'll write about it.

January 9, 2014

Our Adoption Story, Part 4: His Perfect Plan Revealed

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3… In case you want to review.
This is the part where the story gets happy. Really, really happy.
We turned our life book back in to CPO about 3 days after we left the hospital empty-handed, which would have been around April 29th or so. It helped to have an inkling of hope again, and to be excited when the phone rang.
Around May 14th, I got the phone call that would forever change our lives. There was a birthmom wanting to meet us the next Tuesday. I got some very basic info about the situation and then the long wait began. The interview was 7 days away. That was an eternity! Because of other obligations and the fact that she lived 45 minutes from Tulsa, Tuesdays were the best days for her to meet. That worked well though, because that is when CPO has their birthmother support group, so she could just do it all in one day.
For a week, I told myself not to get too excited. It was such a relief to already be interviewing again, but just because you have an interview with a birthmom doesn't mean she'll pick you. I told myself it was okay if she didn't pick us, at least we were "back out there".
Tuesday finally came, and we met Amanda and her two CPO assistants for lunch at Cheddar's. They had just been to the doctor and things looked good. They guessed she was about 12 weeks along.
Within about 5 minutes of meeting Amanda I knew everything about her I needed to know. This is because as soon as we sat down she launched into her life story with a fervor I can't really describe. Jarad and I just sat there quietly listening as she told us every last detail of every good, bad, and ugly thing she had ever done. I see now that she just wanted to make sure we knew the whole story before making a decision. She gave us every opportunity to reject her, but of course we would never consider such a thing.
We ordered our food, and halfway through the meal it was clear Amanda had made her decision. I had a bite on my fork headed toward my mouth and she said, "Well, I know this is going to sound weird, but… Do you guys want my baby? Because I want you to have my baby." I was so shocked, I just started laughing (classic Rhonda reaction), and of course… we said yes.
We finished our meal and decided to meet a bit later at the CPO counselor's office. From there, we were going to run some errands, have dinner, and go to the evening's birthmother support group meeting.
From that day on, Amanda and I spent every single Tuesday together until Milly's birth. I would drive an hour to her apartment and pick her up. We'd head back to Tulsa and run around to various appointments. Counseling, doctor, ultrasounds. We ate a million meals together, and ran a bunch of errands. Every Tuesday night we ended up at CPO for support group. Afterwards, I would drive Amanda back home and get back to my house by midnight.
It made for long days, but it was so worth it and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Amanda and I formed an incredible bond on Highway 75 and the Creek Turnpike. We talked about everything ever, and while I can't speak for her, I can say that from my end there was never an awkward moment. Her honesty and friendliness was a ray of sunshine in my life, especially after the difficulties we had in April. Finally, I had a birthmom that I'd come to hope for: someone who could be a lifelong friend for me and a loving presence in our child's life.
There was some uncertainty about the adoption, which remains a private matter. Amanda never doubted her decision to place Milly with us, but there were some issues concerning the birthfather which could have made it so the adoption wasn't possible. It was no matter to me. I had gained an amazing friend, and we were building a relationship that would last a lifetime. If Milly came home with us, that would just be icing on the cake.
We laughed, we cried, we made lots and lots of memories. We got pedicures. We shopped. We ate burgers and ice cream and chicken nuggets (she was pregnant, I was happy to oblige). We made fun of each other. We watched a dollar movie (ending first, then the beginning and middle). We were together when we found out it was a girl. We felt Milly kick together (albeit from different sides of the belly). We celebrated her personal victories. We became friends. We became family.
About six months after we met, Amanda proved her strength and determination. In the most selfless act I've ever witnessed, she put Milly in my arms.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. That's Part 5.

December 31, 2013

Our Adoption Story, Part 3: Fail

In case you missed them, here's Part 1 and Part 2.
If it seemed as though I was avoiding writing this post, it's probably because I was. I have not been looking forward to detailing the pain and frustration we experienced in April. In fact, I won't be detailing it too much. Because the adoption didn't work, much of the story isn't mine to tell.
So, we had our Life Book and all paperwork was complete. Within a few days of our home study being completed, I got a phone call from my mentor (a volunteer who guides us through the process) at CPO asking me to turn in our book early. I reminded her that I fully intended to finish the school year with my students. We decided that I would turn my book in early, but they would only show it to girls who were due after the school year ended. I was so excited! Why hadn't I thought of that myself?
I mailed our book on March 7th.
On March 12th I checked to make sure they had my book.
On March 21st I told Jarad that maybe we were never going to get picked.
On March 23rd I got a phone call.
There is a pregnant woman who wants to interview you. Are you interested? Yes!
But… she's due May 7th, which is before school is out and we know you're very determined to finish the school year. We'll work something out! Yes! Yes! Yes!
She has high blood pressure, might deliver even earlier than the 7th. Will you be okay with that? Yes! I'll get a long term sub! It'll be okay! I'll find a way! I'm soooo excited!
On March 24th we had lunch with the family (it was a family of five… mom, dad, 3 kids, baby on the way). Within 15 minutes of leaving the restaurant, we received a text from the birthmom saying that they wanted us to parent their baby! Well, actually it said something different, but that was the gist.
Commence hyperventilation for the next 4 weeks.
I was very excited, and also very nervous. Of course, any first time parents would be nervous. But this was more. I was very nervous that they would change their minds. Which would have been fine, and I made sure they knew that we would be okay with that.
Here's the real thing that was making me nervous… I was afraid they wouldn't change their minds. I know that sounds weird. I assure you, it wasn't because I didn't want to adopt their baby.
Side Note: At CPO, we are big proponents of open adoption. That means that the adoptive family (us) and the birthfamily (them) build a relationship that spans a lifetime. From November (the Waiting Families Workshop that began to change my heart) until now I had been really excited about having a birthmom (maybe a whole birthfamily!) in our lives. It's good for the birthfamily: they don't spend their lives wondering if their child is okay. It's good for the adoptive family: medical histories and more people to love. It's good for the adopted child: no questions about where they came from, because they know both families. How can you go wrong with having more people around to love your child? I was excited to jump in, head first, with a birthfamily.
So when I said up there that I was afraid they wouldn't change their minds, it's because of the open adoption thing. Let me explain the best I can. They were... difficult to be around. There was a history of domestic violence. Their moods were unpredictable. They had 3 kids that were absolutely wonderful, but it hurt to see how they were being parented. I was stood up for doctor's appointments. We arrived to go to Incredible Pizza to find the mom had been arrested that morning. (We still went with the kids.) We arrived to go to the zoo to find the dad's clothes thrown out of the house into the mud, and him refusing to go in the clothes he was wearing. (Jarad talked him down and we still took the kids.)
It was a very sad (and sometimes scary) situation, and I was terrified to be tied to them for the rest of our lives. But I knew that I could set boundaries that would be appropriate for keeping our family safe, and I knew that CPO would support that if needed. Most importantly, I knew 100% that this baby (and all of their kids, really) needed to be in a different home, and it seemed as if God was calling us to be that home, at least for the baby. And even though their other kids were not available to adopt, we hoped to remain in their lives as a healthy influence. I believed that it would be a difficult journey with them as our birthfamily, but that God would guide us.
From March 24th to April 20th, we spent a lot of time with the family. There were many, many conversations that made it seem like one or both parents could change their mind at any given time. They said different things depending on who they were talking to and whether they were mad at each other in that exact moment. Jarad and I prayed and prayed and prayed.
On April 20th, we had a counseling session that included both birthparents and Jarad and I. The baby was due to come early via c-section in just 5 days. It was do-or-die time, and it finally came out that the birthfather was never really interested in adoption, he was just being pushed into it by the birthmother. The CPO counselor said that they both needed to be on board. CPO is not in the business of taking babies away from families that want them. There were tears from us, but we had seen it coming for weeks. We wanted to remain supportive, and to show this family that had hurt us so much that we could still treat them kindly, even in the midst of our pain. So, when the birthmother asked us to visit the baby at the hospital on the day she was born, we said yes.
We left and began to grieve. But it was a gentle grieving, because we had been so leery of the whole situation in the first place.
April 25th arrived. Delivery day. We didn't know anything about when the surgery was scheduled, so we planned to just show up to visit around noon. We arrived at the hospital and when I was getting out of the car I saw that I had missed several phone calls from various CPO volunteers. One message sounded pretty urgent. As we walked into the hospital, we were told that both birthparents showed up for the c-section high on PCP. The surgery was not yet over, but when it was, there was going to be some firm conversations with them. The hospital staff is obligated to call child services in that kind of situation and with their history of offenses, there was no doubt that not only the baby, but the other 3 as well, would be removed from the home.
What we thought was just a friendly visit turned into so much more. We held hands and prayed while we waited to hear if the birthparents would choose adoption over foster care. We went into the recovery room and were told by the birthmom that she wanted us to parent the baby after all.
We stayed at the hospital for 24 hours. We had temporary custody of the baby, and she stayed in our room with us. We visited the birthmom's room, but her interaction with the baby was stilted and cold. The birthfather had been banned from the hospital after an outburst while the birthmother was still in recovery.
After 12 hours, it became clear that she was going to change her mind again. Our time spent with the baby felt less like parenting and more like babysitting. We prayed over her as our tears fell on her tiny clothes. We told her we loved her and would always remember her.
We began to try to guide the birthmother. DHS was going to visit her and they were definitely going to take all her kids. We told her that she needed to keep her cool when they came to talk to her, and even though the kids would certainly be removed, she could get them back. We stressed to her that she must be respectful to the workers now and in all future meetings. We told her that they would make a plan for her to get her kids back and if she followed their rules, she WOULD get her kids back.
We left the hospital empty-handed.
We had great support from CPO, our families, and our friends. We slept and prayed and cried for several days.
Even through all the pain, there was no regret. We hoped we had at least planted a seed during our time with that broken family.
We knew God still had a plan for us. It took less than a month to see how wonderful it would be.


December 6, 2013

Our Adoption Story, Part 2: Getting Started

You'll want to read Part 1 first.
So, we were finally "ready", and we'd decided God's plan for us was close by... CPO is located in the heart of Tulsa, a mere 30 minute drive from The Compound. (Since we drive so fast...)
One day we decided, let's turn in our application now! So, I got on the CPO website and was disappointed to see that they weren't accepting applications for another 8 months, June of 2012.
I printed off everything I needed and began poring over it. It was a bit daunting, as I knew that every word I wrote on the application would help determine if we were accepted. I had 8 months to obsess. What fun that must have been for Jarad!
My plan was to have the application completely filled out and in the hands of CPO volunteers on June 1, 2012 when the doors opened at 10am. Pretty sure it was closer to noon when I actually turned it in, but whatevs. That just showed how relaxed I was about the whole thing.
So, June 2012 came. We turned in our application, and we began to wait. How long would it take for them to review it? Would they tell us if they didn't like us, or would we just never hear from them? Did I remember to have Jarad sign it before I drove it over there? Have they cashed the check for the application fee? With an organization run completely by volunteers, I knew the timeline might be a little delayed.
Eventually, I got an email from the director. Our application had been reviewed and we were invited to have an interview with one of her assistants!
Yay! I was sooooo excited!
Oh no! I was sooooo nervous!
Eventually the meeting came. I have no idea when it was, but I know it was at the BA Starbucks with Stephanie. She was very nice and warm, and even though I was internally LOSING. MY. MIND with anxiety, she put me at ease enough for me to be somewhat normal-acting. I mean, I don't remember exactly how I acted, but they accepted us to adopt through them, so I guess I was okay.
At the meeting, I told Stephanie that I was going to continue to teach until May of 2013, so we would wait until then to turn in our Life Book. (The Life Book is the "final step" before you start waiting to be picked; it is for the pregnant girls to look at and get a quick idea of what you're about. After you turn it in, you could literally have a baby in your arms 2 hours later... although usually it takes longer than that, obviously.) The fact that we wanted to wait about 9 months after being approved to adopt baffled Stephanie. It has since baffled many people in the CPO/adoption world. I think that in many situations, by the time a family decides to adopt, they are DYING for a child RIGHT. FREAKING. NOW. Of course, we were excited to adopt, but we had a timeline and a plan, and we were sticking to it.
And stick to it, we did. Mostly. Sort of. More on that later.
So, we started meeting the requirements needed to adopt. Because of our waiting-until-the-end-of-the-school-year plan, we had plenty of time to get it all done without feeling rushed at all.
We attended the Waiting Families Workshop in November of 2012. It was a 3 day workshop, and by the end of it my heart was beginning to transform. It would be a bit longer before my heart was fully changed, but the WFW started the turn.
Side note: "My heart was beginning to transform." What do I mean by this? I mean, I went to CPO intending to adopt a baby. They make it clear that they are a ministry trying to help girls in crisis pregnancies. My thought was, "Yeah, that's nice. I'm gonna get my baby and move on." During the WFW, that began to change. I began to see CPO as a ministry that I would like to be involved with indefinitely. I learned about open adoption and I began to yearn for that kind of relationship with our future child's birthmother. I met birthmothers whose lives had been changed during the time CPO was helping them through their pregnancy. I found that even after the adoption is finalized, CPO sticks by the girls. They offer them professional counseling and support groups FOR LIFE. I also liked knowing that CPO absolutely does NOT push girls to choose adoption. If a girl decides she wants to parent a child, they still offer professional counseling and support groups FOR LIFE. I started to see that this place, this CPO place that was going to give me a baby, was going to be a part of my life for a LOT longer than it took to get my adoption finalized in the court system. This CPO place was going to be MY place. My way to volunteer and help people, something I had wanted to do after my teaching career was put on hold for parenting. CPO was going to be come MY mission.
Like I said, it would be a bit longer before my heart was fully changed, but the WFW started the turn.
We also completed our home study and I refuse to relive that ridiculousness. If you want to read how that turned out, and laugh at my insanity, feel free. You can find it here.
After the home study, I began to work on our Life Book. And by "began to work on our Life Book" I mean I sat in front of my laptop for 14 hours and didn't move (except for bathroom breaks) until it was finished and ready to order. Yeah, once I started, I couldn't stop.

It came in around the end of March. All that was left was to buy the very basic baby supplies (car seat, crib, minimal clothing) and wait for the school year to finish.

That was the plan.
We didn't stick to it.
More on that in Part 3.

November 25, 2013

Our Adoption Story, Part 1: In the Beginning

Most of this has already been mentioned in this blog, but it's been years, so I'll now share the short version, which is also the hindsight-is-20/20 version. Of course, to see my original thoughts on the subject, you can always read it here and here.
 My family has had adoption in it for as long as I can imagine. I always thought adoption was a great option, but I didn't know then that it would come to be the only possible way I could imagine having a family. Sometime after we married, adoption began popping up everywhere. My coworkers, Jarad's coworkers, our immediate family, old friends, acquaintances, bloggers I respected, and the like all started adopting or talking about adopting. Which got me thinking about adopting more and more every day. And of course, if I'm thinking about something, I'm talking about that thing, and so therefore Jarad is thinking about that thing.
Talk of adoption became more and more frequent, and before we knew it, we had decided we didn't have a desire to have biological kids, but we did have an overwhelming desire to adopt.
But how?
There were many ways to adopt, and we didn't know which one we really wanted to do. One thing we did know: we weren't ready yet. Financially, emotionally, maturityally*... we wanted to wait. And we knew that by the time we were ready, God would reveal to us the route we should take.
Over the course of the years, we considered international adoption, domestic adoption, private adoption, and DHS adoption.
One day, a friend told me about Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. She had started a process there and although God's plan for her ended up being a different kind of adoption, she had already planted a seed in my mind and heart.
That seed grew into a giant redwood within just a few days. It seemed pretty clear to us: CPO was the way to go.
The next question became: When?
It took a couple more years, but eventually, we were ready. So very, very ready. Financially, emotionally, and maturityally.

That's it for now. Part 2 will be coming soon.

* New word. Awesome, I know.
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