Mother’s Day Weekend

What a happy weekend it was! The celebration started on Saturday with a family baby shower that my parents hosted. It was a wonderful time for our extended family to  all come together and celebrate Hope’s arrival to our family. We had such a wonderful afternoon introducing Hope to everyone. She was quite the celebrity, as you can imagine! It didn’t take much for me or my dad to get a teeny bit emotional. I wish you all could have heard him speak about the blessing Hope is. :)Thank you, Mom and Dad, for a beautiful day!

My mom and grandfather. I love how enamored he is over Hope. 🙂
It was so wonderful to see Adam’s sister Amanda and niece Mackenzie!Love them!
My lovely mother in law. Susie, and sister in law, Vanessa
 
 
 

Correne has been a faithful prayer warrior. She shared with me that, several months ago,
she started to pray specifically that our baby would arrive before Mother’s Day. 🙂
Kelly (right) has been my little sister for 20+years. (Maybe almost 30?!?)
 So overjoyed to see her and her mom, Nancy!

 

Leading up to Mother’s Day, I would think about it every so often and would feel a twinge of anxiety about it, like I would in years past. I don’t know why. So I asked Adam if we could go out in the morning for breakfast, just the 3 of us and spend time together. We had a great morning. Adam surprised me with a butterfly necklace from Tiffany’s. Before I knew what it was, I saw the infamous blue box and started to cry. And of course, when I saw the necklace, the tears continued to come. We had sent Tami a similar necklace that we picked out at the mall a couple of weeks back. I had enclosed a card to explain the symbol of the butterfly and why it was so special to me. (click here for the post on butterflies.) I am so blessed with such a sweet and thoughtful husband. So very blessed.

Of course, my heart was on Tami all day. Here I was celebrating this beautiful baby that she is living without. I couldn’t stop thanking the Lord for this precious gift, not only in Hope but in Tami. I had spoken with her a few days prior and I wish each of you could hear the happiness and joy in her voice as I told her how Hope was and what we were doing with her. I know that there is peace in knowing Hope is loved and cared for, despite the pain that is still in her heart. We set up a private Facebook page that is just for the 4 of us, so we could post pictures frequently. It is such a wonderful way to communicate! Tami messaged me to wish me a happy Mother’s Day, which made me so happy. I told her that not only did we celebrate Hope, but her as well. Tami replied that all she asks is that we take good care of her little girl. When I promised her that we will love her beyond measure, she responded “I know you will…that’s why I chose you.” I am excited to see how God continues to grow our relationship throughout the years to come. My prayer is that she will continue to see Jesus in us and that her heart will be pointed to Him. And, my prayer over Hope is that she will grow to understand how much Tami loves her. I am blessed to share the title of  “Mother” with Tami. We are mothers to her in different ways, yet mothers nonetheless. This quote below encapsulates the whole idea of adoption so beautifully:

 
 
I also just want to say thank you to so many of you who made this day extra special for me. I was so touched by all the texts, phone calls, messages, cards and gifts that I received! I am humbled that so many of you thought of me! You have been instrumental over these last couple of years~your prayers and encouragement mean more than you could ever know! THANK YOU!!!!
 
Hope~ I am so blessed that God chose me to be your Mommy. My heart is overflowing with love for you. I love you, my sweet little butterfly.
 

 
 

 
 


Butterflies

Before Hope arrived, some would ask if we had a theme picked out for our nursery. To be honest, it was one thing I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around. We were so busy doing other things, such as paperwork and making profiles, etc. that putting together the nursery was at the bottom of the list. I also am so not a girl when it comes to that. Decorating is so not my thing and I didn’t really care too much about it. The only thing I knew is that I would want it to have some significance as this baby was going to be a miracle and a special gift.

The Saturday before we met Hope (and still waiting to hear if we would be chosen by this family), we were at Babies R Us picking up a car seat and stroller, just in case we would be on our way to meet this sweet baby. While walking around, we saw some bedding that had butterflies on it and Adam asked “What about butterflies for the nursery?” It was then I knew that it was perfect. About a year ago, when we switched over to the domestic adoption program, I haphazardly started looking up birth mother blogs to read about adoption from their perspective. It was the best thing I could have done as I read about their experiences. It helped me to pray for the woman Adam and I would be matched with. While I was clicking through blog after blog, I came across one particular blog of a woman who had made an adoption plan for her daughter. The love this mother had for her daughter just radiated through her writing. I also felt her pain as she made the hardest decision of her life. She described her daughter as a butterfly; this baby she loved so much that she knew she had to let her fly away to begin a new life. It didn’t mean she loved her less, but I believe it means she loved her deeply.

And so it is with Hope. Tami and Joe’s beautiful butterfly who flew into our lives by only God’s grace and by His miracle. I also think of how it represents the story God is writing in each of our lives. Each season is used to allow us to grow. Sometimes we feel so secluded and confined, not knowing how God could ever make anything beautiful out of our cocooned life. But then it happens. It is time. Time for God to show His glory…beauty that only He can show through our lives. Time for us to burst through for a new beginning. Like a dear friend said in an e-mail while we were on our way to pick up Hope, “The stories God writes are always beautiful.” (Thank you, Wendy Emberly:)

 
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

Happy 1st month!

April 28th marked Hope’s 1 month birthday. We cannot believe that over a month has gone by! It feels like Hope has been here with us forever, yet it feels like we just got home yesterday from Indiana. We know that the time will continue to pass us by more quickly than we care to imagine.

I feel like we have adjusted to parenthood well. Hope is a really good baby. She is very alert, loves to stretch, kick, and punch after her nap times. She is starting to notice toys on her activity mat (Thank you, Mom and Dad!) and is starting to bat at them with her hands.

 

Hope smiles and laughs a lot in her sleep which makes us so happy. Adam and I still just stare at her, not believing that she is really our daughter. We continue to be amazed at the blessings God has showered us with. It is so hard to believe that Hope is here and our family is finally together.

 
 


 
Hope has adjusted fairly well to sleeping, which we are so happy about:) (Or, better put, WE have adjusted fairly well to HER sleep schedule:) We definitely have our sleep deprived nights/days, but overall it has been OK! Usually after her early morning feeding, she comes into bed with us and cuddles. She loves to scrunch up in a ball and fall asleep on us. We are enjoying every moment of that. We can’t kiss her and hold her enough!

We just sent our first update in to Hope’s birth parents. We put together a small album and wrote a letter of how Hope is doing. Our prayer is that our pictures will bring them comfort and that they will see how loved Hope is by us and all of you.
I am loving every second of being home. During the day, we take walks, read stories, and sing. I love to sing “Amazing Grace” to her and I think she is starting to recognize it. A lot of the times when I start to sing it she stops moving and stares up at me. So sweet. My favorite verse of that song is :

 
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
 
 This usually results in tears in my eyes as I stare at Hope. She is His goodness personified. We didn’t know her face for so long, yet we knew she was there, growing in our hearts.. we trusted that God’s goodness was there. There were hard days, there were good days. Many of those days we had to purposefully choose to believe God’s promises, despite how sad or angry we were. Because despite those feelings, we knew that God was good all the time and knew that everything He does was perfect. I don’t know what each of you is praying for or waiting for. But I do encourage you to claim one of God’s promises and cling to it, pray over it, meditate on it. Soon it will become ingrained in your heart that it will be second nature to pray over during those tough days. One of the first passages that I chose when we started our adoption was Psalm 33:20-22:
 
20 We put our hope in the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
for our hope is in you alone.
 
 
As we look at Hope, we see God’s hope. His overflowing goodness; His unending faithfulness. And as we spend each precious moment with her, we are constantly reminded that God is our only source of strength..our true, living hope.