Tuesday, February 24, 2009

books to read

If you know me at all, you know that I absolutely love to read. Quite frankly I read anything I can get my hands on and quite frequently I don't put a book down until I've finished. In the midst of reading Wuthering Heights(for the umpteenth time so it's the book I read during my break at work), The American General (I read this book while on the elliptical), On Every Side and MidnightSun (again!) my dearest husband ordered me a new book.

After hearing Dr. Ray Guarendi promote his book Adoption, Choosing it, Living It, Loving It, on The Fish, Matt ordered it thinking that it could provide us with valuable insight. It arrived Saturday and it took me until last night to finish it, definitely not one of my best efforts. But it was an interesting read, so I wanted to make sure I read every word.

Dr. Guarnedi is an adoptive father of 10; all adopted domestically as infants or young children, all adopted in a span of 12 years. Just that statistic alone made me slow down and pay close attention as I read. The format of his book is a question someone wrote him and his answer. Some of it we'd learned in our adoption certification classes, some of it I'd read in other books but then other parts of it were quite eye opening. The book didn't necessarily provide us with many concrete answers but it validated our feelings, explained options, calmed fears and provided different ways to approach different adoption issues. It's the first book on adoption that I can truly recommend; it was informative, helpful and though provoking. A lot of the adoption books that I've read either provide unsettling or scary unsubstantiated facts or make adoption seem like a fairytale, which I know this is not the case. So, if you're even considering the idea of adoption, this book is a must read.

Each day Matt and I get closer to a decision about whether or not to become foster parents or to just patiently wait to adopt. We're still praying about it, and while we're not entirely sure of what we're going to do we do know that the path we're on is not being directed by us, but by Him. And while the future is so uncertain for everyone, that one fact provides perfect comfort. When the fact that we don't have a family yet begins to consume me and my faith and happiness begin to waiver, my heart whispers Psalm 46:10 and I feel peace.

Our prayers are with you always, love,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fork in the Road

Pray for MeWe participate in "Pray for Me... Pray for Others" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to add your prayer request. Join a community of friends who care about you, and hope you will care about them.

Our winding road toward a family seemed to be on cruise control. Everything was going smoothly with MCB, we had two meetings left and then the waiting (and praying) game would begin… and while we are now only 1 meeting away from being “adoption ready” with MCB we have, of course, come upon another fork in the road.

Our last meeting with the DCFS was an eye-opening, heart wrenching mess. Our caseworker (CW#2) was brutally honest (which we did appreciate) but who’s attitude was so uncouth that Matt and I felt blind-sided, betrayed and left with little hope for ever adopting out of the county. CW#2 informed us that only way we’d get a child under the age of 5 was if we first became foster parents. The idea of becoming a foster parent petrifies me; to fall in love with a child, hold them for a few months (or years) and then to have to give them back tears at my heartstrings even now, without ever having held that child.

Tuesday night Matt and I met with our temporary DCFS caseworker (cw#3). CW#3 was wonderful. While still completely honest, she presented the information we needed in a way that was easy to understand and also easy to receive. Again we were presented with the information that it would be nearly impossible to adopt a child (especially one in our specified age range) out of the system and that we could wait for years without hearing anything at all. And again CW#3 spoke of foster care. Instinctively I stopped listening, allowing her the opportunity to drone on but solidifying my resolve against foster care. Unfortunately, or fortunately, when I could no longer hear her, I could hear Him. My heart flooded with Jeremiah 29:11 and I began to listen again.

Now Matt and I are at a crossroads of sorts. We desperately long for a family and while I whole-heartedly agree with Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem that states 'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all,I’m just not sure we, or more appropriately, I can withstand that type of loss.
So we’ve begun to pray; that God makes His Will clear to us, that we make the right decision and that we can live with whatever decision we make. As we pray, I selfishly ask for you to pray for us as well; that we learn God’s will, that all facets of our adoption process move forward and that we have a family soon.

Leaving you with the verse that I’m trying to let lead me: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

Love & Blessings, Meredith

Monday, February 16, 2009

All that I want...

I’ve never been a huge fan of Kellie Coffey but on my way home from my brother’s birthday dinner I heard her song I Would Die for That.

Jenny was my best friend.
Went away one summer.
Came back with a secret
She just couldn't keep.
A child inside her,
Was just too much for her
So she cried herself to sleep.

And she made a decision
Some find hard to accept.
To young to know that one day
She might live to regret.

But I would die for that.
Just to have one chance
To hold in my hands
All that she had.
I would die for that.

I've been given so much,
A husband that I love.
So why do I feel incomplete?
With every test and checkup
We're told not to give up.
He wonders if it's him.
And I wonder if it's me.

All I want is a family,
Like everyone else I see.
And I won't understand it
If it's not meant to be.

Cause I would die for that.
Just to have one chance
To hold in my hands
All that they have.
I would die for that.

And I want to know what it's like
To bring a dream to life.
For that kind of love,
What I'd give up!
I would die for that.

Sometimes it's hard to conceive,
With all that I've got,
And all I've achieved,
What I want most
Before my time is gone,
Is to hear the words
"I love you, Mom."

I would die for that.
Just to have once chance
To hold in my hands
What so many have
I would die for that.

And I want to know what it's like
To bring a dream to life.
How I would love
What some give up.
I would die ...I would die for that.

These lyrics, while in retrospect seem quite melodramatic, speak to the essence of my being. I would give anything to be a mom and have a family.

This weekend was spent with my extended family; people I love, that I miss so much as distance and life separate us a little bit more each year. Every time we get together I’m stunned by how much everyone has changed, grownup and fast-forwarded through life since the last time we were together. The biggest change I noticed this visit was that everyone has a child. While I’m incredibly happy for my cousins, but as thrilled as I was while I watched what wonderful parents they are it was hard not to wonder when it would be my turn, when I would have a baby to hold, a child to call me mama.

I hate feeling like life isn’t fair and I know that God never said life would be fair, that He never even said it would be easy, but sometimes it’s just hard to wonder why people who desperately want to have a child are unable too yet there are parents out there who abuse their children, abandon them or decide not to keep them and have an abortion. Alls we want is a child to love… I didn’t know it would be this hard.

However I do know that this journey to parenthood will be totally worth it the second we hold our baby in our arms. And until then I’ll keep Roman’s 8:28 close to my heart, "and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Tomorrow we meet with our new caseworker from DCFS, if you would pray that this meeting is more productive than the last and that Matt and I are comfortable with wherever this meeting leads.

Love & Blessings, Meredith

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Upcoming Meetings...

This week was a little slower than the past few weeks with no meeting with our attorney. However, we have been keeping busy with trying to prepare our life book. A life book is a scrapbook of sorts that we give to our attorney who then shares with prospective birth mothers. Included in the life book is pictures of us, our family and our life, a little about both Matt and I and then a letter to the birth mother or parents. For me, that letter is the most challenging... how can I even begin to express how we feel towards this young woman who could possibly be giving us the greatest gift we could ever hope for. How do we even begin to portray the reasons she should consider us to be the parents of her child, the gratitude we have for her for granting us our deepest desire of our heart and how do we adequately describe the love we already have in our hearts for the child she is carrying.

Next week brings two meetings. The 1st one is Tuesday and we’ll be meeting with our new caseworker through the Cuyahoga Depart of Children and Family Services (DCFS). I’ll admit I’m a little nervous about this meeting; each time we meet with DCFS there is always something new to discuss and by new I mean discerning, sad and usually not what we’re expecting to here. The last meeting we had with our old caseworker practically broke my heart to pieces and I just pray that this meeting will be more productive.

Our 2nd meeting is Wednesday with our lawyer, MCB. This is the meeting where MCB asks me all the same questions she asked Matt last time. For those of you wondering how we found MCB, it truly was another work of God's hand. Matt and I spend most of our radio time listening to
95.5 The Fish and one of their talk show hosts used MCB for the adoption of his daughter. Just more proof for us that God is leading our path.

This meeting I’m truly looking forward too as I feel this will bring us one step closer to becoming a family. MCB is truly an advocate for children and adoption, Matt and I are so blessed to have found her to help us on this phase of our journey.

In honor of Valentines Day I'll leave you with this scripture: Dear friends lets continue to love one another, for love comes from God. 1 John 4:7

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Adoption Meetings 2 & 3

Our 2nd meeting (1st out of 4 official meetings) with our attorney (MCB) took place on January 28 and was all about the legalities of private domestic adoptions: expectations, rules, Ohio adoption laws, etc. A whole lot of information was presented to us, some of which we were already aware of and other information that took us quite by surprise. Adoption laws vary from state to state and for many reasons we are blessed to be living in Ohio where adoption laws tend to lean towards the best interest of the child. Ohio adoption laws are also changing and this change makes Matt and I a little nervous but we've given this small challenge to God and now we're moving forward.

Today was our 3rd meeting (2nd official)and it was all about us. In order to do her job well MCB wants to get to know us better; i.e. asking lots of questions about our lives. Starting with Matt, MCB asked him about everything! About his family, faith, education, how we met, why we're adopting... Matt was pretty much an open book. Our next meeting is February 18 and it will be my turn to answer the questions.

I was a little unsure why MCB would want to know all this, but once I thought it through, it made complete sense. In order to serve us best, when MCB meets with prospective birth mothers, the more she knows about us, the more she can advocate for us. All of the questions are like going through the homestudy process again, but we'll answer any questions if they bring us one step closer to our future family.

Ending with a quote... and while I have no idea where this quote came from it always provides me with a little comfort.
"God's delays are not God's denials - some dreams are just worth waiting for."

Love & Blessings, Meredith