Friday, May 31, 2013

9 months waiting!

I wrote down the date during my quiet time this morning.
9 MONTHS we have officially been on the waiting list with our adoption agency!
I can't decide if it's flown by or seems like it's taking forever. I guess both.

So what does that mean? How much longer do we have to wait?
I wish we knew the answer to that.
Although we don't have an exact answer, we can at least give you guys an idea of where we are in the waiting.

Currently our agency estimates an average wait time of 24-30 months from DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) until Referral (being matched with a child).

Our DTE date was August 31, 2012.

That's where I am getting 9 months officially waiting (even though we've been in the process over a year).

Let's use out agency's estimates to calculate.

30 - 9 = 21 months.

So for today, "approximately" 21 more months of waiting until we get a referral (match).

I put quotations around "approximately" because those wait times are always subject to change. International adoption is unpredictable.

Hope that helps answer some questions.

Keep praying for us and Malachi in the wait. It seems like forever, but he will be so worth it!

Oh yeah. In the craziness of life I forgot to post that we officially became a "concurrent family" on May 3rd.
Concurrent family just means that we are cleared to continue pursuing adoption even though I am pregnant. We keep our spot on the waiting list.
For those of you who didn't see my blog on concurrent family, it was basically just paperwork and updates with our social worker to get approved.
The letter was written in our favor. Our agency reviewed it, our whole case, and on May 3rd I received an email saying "congratulations, you're officially a concurrent family."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

3 Year Anniversary

Lee and I celebrated our 3rd Wedding Anniversary yesterday, May 29th. 
I will try not to write a bunch of mushy stuff on here :) 
But I will say....
I love him so much more today than I did three years ago.
Don't get me wrong. I loved him then.
But in three short years we have experienced a lot.
God has used different seasons to draw us closer to each other.
God has taken the ugly, the sad, and the happy and graciously weaved it all together to increase our love for Him and for each other. 
HE is teaching us how to dance together through this crazy thing we call LIFE.
And I am thankful for my dancing partner.

We have a lot left to learn. A lot of growing left to do.
I'm not crazy. Three years is but a blink.
However, in ten more I hope I write the same thing.
"I love him more today than I did then."

We spent our anniversary at the beach. In the condo because we were exhausted. 
Ate spaghetti.
With Great Value Ice Cream for dessert. 
One wild toddler running around. 
Another tiny baby kicking inside my belly. 
Life :) 

So, tonight I was browsing for wedding pictures to put in this post and instead I came across honeymoon pictures. 
They made me smile.
So I decided to share.

Three years ago I laid on a beach in Costa Rica with my new husband with no idea what life held.
Three years later... we know that life for us holds THREE sons. 

Honeymoon Costa Rica - May 2010

Our private 3 bedroom villa - mountainside overlooking ocean

kayaking on the beach
There were literally probably 5 people on this beach. 

Our private chef, Ernesto.
He was an AMAZING chef.
Spoke no English :) but he could cook!! 

We seriously took pictures of every meal because we were so amazed.
Above is stuffed lobster and fish, homemade strawberry cheesecake and a typical breakfast.
Yes we had LOTS of left overs. 

We visited Nicaragua for a day. Too many pics to post.

Horseback Riding on 3 different beaches - all empty but beautiful.
It was Me, Lee and our non-English speaking guide :) 

Mud Bath

Ernesto heard that we were going on top of the mountain to watch the sunset one evening.
So he sent us a surprise delivered by golf cart.
Wine and snacks before dinner.

There are so many pics I could post from that trip, but I'm probably boring you by now :) 

I love this last picture. 
I look at it and smile.
Because in the moment it was snapped, it was just 2 of us. 
We had no idea what God had in store for our lives.
Still don't :) 

Hoping by our 10 year anniversary we can afford to take another trip like that!
For now... I'm gonna enjoy the Alabama coast.
Grabbing cookies and milk for dessert tonight! 
And yes.. I will let my toddler dip in the same milk glass as me. And when his cookie gets too soggy, I will just give him a new one!

Happy 3 years LEE! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Garage Sale & Sweet Kiss

We had our garage sale fundraiser last Saturday (May 4th).
It went so good!
A special thanks to all of our family for helping us last Friday and Saturday! We couldn't have done it without y'all. And thanks to everyone who donated to the sale!! You guys are awesome!
We raised approximately....
$ 2,000
Seriously... Once again we stand amazed at God's continued provision for our adoption. 
We stand amazed at the overwhelming amount of support we have.
Thank You!

I have a sweet, sweet story to share from the garage sale.
My "sweet kiss" from God. 

I guess the story can begin on Thursday evening of last week.
This nasty little emotion called "doubt" began to creep in. It raised it's head as the garage sale neared. 
Doubt over what? Tons of things. 
It began to engulf me. 
I told Lee about it. Told him that satan's attacks were full on.
He prayed over me. Prayed for our family. Prayed for our garage sale. Then prayed for me again.

Friday evening I rushed in from work, greeting family members and finishing up all the last minute garage sale stuff. Lee had picked up our Africa cookies that sweet Rhiannon Bethea made for us to sell. I immediately looked for them when I got home and was SO thankful to see that she already had them arranged in a basket, because I wasn't sure what I was going to put them in to make them look cute.

I snapped a picture of these precious cookies.

Saturday was the garage sale.

God met me there. He met me in small ways throughout the day.
He exceeded my expectations for the sale.
And then in the perfect moment He grabbed my attention.

The sale was over. All of our family had gone home except Lee's cousin, Sha.
We were standing in the kitchen talking.
As I listened to Lee and Sha talking, I glanced over and saw the basket of cookies sitting on our bench.

"That's strange" I thought. I stared a moment longer at the cookies before speaking out loud.
"Look at that cookie basket. The tissue paper is red, green and yellow. Those are Ethiopia's flag colors."
Lee and Sha turned to look.
"It sure is" replied Lee.
"Do you think Rhiannon meant to do that?" I asked.
Lee replied, "Abby, probably! Creative people always do stuff like that."

True, I thought to myself. But that is REAL creative, especially not to mention it and assume I would notice.

I dropped it.

For a few hours.

But I couldn't let it go. There was something "more" to me about the 3 colors she had decorated the basket with. So around 8 o'clock that night I wrote Rhiannon a text and asked if she knew that those 3 colors were Ethiopian colors.

Her response?

"No way!?!?!"
"Totally God... :)"

She proceeded to tell me the "story" behind selecting those colors for the basket.
She said she had left over green paper from Christmas, but wanted to make the basket "stand out" so she ran to the dollar store for more paper. The only colors they had were red, yellow and lime green. Since she already had green, she just bought the red and yellow :)

Mmmm... my heart was filled.
God was the creative one.
He always is.
If you don't know about God's crazy, excessive attention to detail - read the Bible cover to cover.
In fact, He is so detail oriented that we miss most of it!
I even have to skip some chapters in the Bible because of all the details God desired for the temple, the sacrifices, etc.
And He cares about the details of my life.

On Sunday, I realized that God had invited me to enter into the doubt I was having earlier in the week.
He allowed me to enter in to the emotions... because He desired to meet me there.
He desired to prove Himself faithful to me.
He desired to remind me of His ever constant presence in our lives.
He desired to confirm His call for us to adopt once again (for the millionth time) because He knows I need it.
I was thankful He had allowed me to enter in.

Here are the pictures of the Ethiopian flag, the cookie basket after the garage sale, and the cookie basket during the garage sale.
No, I did not rearrange the tissue paper to match the flag! That just happened to be how Rhiannon laid it :)
Oh and the cookies were blue in the middle (just like the blue in the flag).
It was in front of our face all day and we didn't notice :)

Pretty neat, huh?

This is one of the only pictures I snapped during the sale.

God is pretty great :))

I did not take any pictures at the sale (yes I regret this), but some family members snapped at least a few.
Here is a side by side of Miller and Blakely (our niece) last year and this year at the garage sale!
They've grown so much :((

Thanks for following us!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

APRIL 2013

Better late than never huh??!

Our April Collage from top left to right.

Miller's First Mississippi State Baseball Game (we beat Ole Miss :))
Asher Grace came to visit
Miller loves to "brush your teeeff"
We planted a small above ground garden (our first ever)
Number 33 on waiting list for a toddler
Number 68 for an infant
We found out that Baby Blackburn is a...
Baby Blackburn 17 weeks old in that sono pic 

I'm working on a blog post from our garage sale ;) 
Stay tuned! I will hopefully get it typed tonight/tomorrow! 
Got some G.O.O.D, sweet stuff to share!!