Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dancing across 7,333 miles

"Life's a dance you learn as you go, sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow..." I heard this refrain on the radio on my way home from work today and hours later I'm still hearing it play in my head. John Michael Montgomery sings that "sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow," but I no longer want to lead. Following a sermon series at church entitled ilead, I know that I need to stop trying to lead my life and follow Him. It's just really hard to give up that control - I know what I want out of life, I want to do what I can to attain it but, well, what I want and God's will aren't always the same thing. If that were so, Matt and I would be anxiously awaiting the birth of our first baby in October - a baby that would be loved, cherished and adored. If it was a boy, he'd have two ready made best friends in Wyatt and Noah and if it was a girl, well an arranged marriage with Wyatt or Noah would be in order. But that was not meant to be...

My arms are empty and some days all that I want to be is a mother holding her baby and other days I'm confident and secure in the fact that God has a child out there waiting for us. It's a delicate dance in my heart, vacillating between feeling weary and longing to feeling loved and secured. I want to be the strong Christian that's completely secure in the path God has her life on and some days I am. But other days I just feel so weak; that one more small blow may knock me off of my feet.

Monday we filled out our pre-application for All God's Children International. Of course we filled out one small section, very IMPORTANT small section incorrectly and now have even more paperwork to fill out. Along with the doctors letters I need to get, an actual application and a personal statement I need to write, we've finally begun our international paperwork. Only God knows how long it will take, but hopefully it won't be too long...

I am so excited that Matt and I have begun this next road in our journey. While the road seems uphill and has a few forks and detours, my heart is at peace in this situation. I'll admit I'm quite nervous; international adoption is expensive, I'll have to travel to a different country (possibly alone) and the process can be very long with lots of daunting paperwork, set backs and delays. But we're ready to take a step of faith, letting go and letting God direct us where He wants us.

And speaking of God's direction...He has put a burning desire for orphans in my heart and with that He has also placed a passionate love for Ethiopia. And when we received back information about our pre-application from AGCI, it included the information that we meet the qualifications to adopt from Bulgaria and...ETHIOPIA! So 7,333 miles away we'll find the beginnings of our family...whether we fly swim or dance across the ocean God will find a way to bring the child he intended for us, to us!

Whether it's slow or fast, the tango or a waltz... this dance called life certainly has a way of keeping me on my toes.

Love & Blessings, Meredith

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I just wanted to wish all of my favorite fathers... and every father out there a HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

A little about my favorite dads:

My dad: As the youngest and only girl, to say I had (and probably still do) my dad wrapped tightly around my pinky was an understatement. There was not one thing he would not do for me, or still does for me. Like just yesterday helping us paint our bathroom... my dad HATES to paint, yet still took the time to make my bathroom a beautiful toffee crunch. My dad is not a "wordy" man but my brothers and I never had to question his love and devotion for us. Actions speak louder than words and the many hours he slaved away at work, many times doing a job he didn't like, to ensure we had shelter, food and clothes demonstrated his love for us. The fact that he probably only ate 2 warm dinners a year when we were little because he was always taking us from one to another, coaching soccer teams or cheering us on while we played showed his 100% devotion to us. I feel so blessed to have a father that loves his family so much.

My father-in-law: Jim's love for his children and dedication to his family are a few of the reasons I appreciate him so much. Whenever his children need him, Jim's there. Like working all morning to help his son and daughter-in-law move their belongings into their new home. Matt is who he is today because of who his father is. And for that I will always be grateful to Jim for helping to turn Matt into the wonderfully intelligent, loving and caring person he is.

Matt and Michael: My brothers are terrific fathers. Caleb, Ethan, Jacob and Sam are the most fortunate children of their generation. Matt and Caleb share this intricate bond filled with love, laughter and mutual admiration. And as Caleb edges closer and closer to the teenage years, his relationship with his dad seems to only grow stronger. I love watching Matt and Caleb together, seeing their bond makes me anxious to see my husband Matt with our children.

Michael tries to be Superdad and really seems to succeed at it. Coaching football, soccer and baseball, cooking, spending countless hours playing trains and Nintendo Wii (I'm sure he enjoys that as well), not a day goes by that Michael isn't fully devoted to his boys. Ethan, Jacob and Sam seem to complete Mike. Add Mike's wife Annie to the mix... and there's your Norman Rockwell Christmas card in the making.

I anxiously await the day when I can add Matt (husband, not brother) to my list of favorite fathers, but in many ways he's already there. He has so much love, wisdom and knowlege to share with our children and right now he shares it with our nephews. As Matt said about me in our adoption interview, I can say about him. In so many ways Matt is already a father, just without a child. Our future child(ren) is going to be so blessed to have a dad like him.

While many people think of infertile women wanting to be Mother's on mothers day, I'm afraid childless men are forgotten on Fathers Day. So today, I will pray for Matt and all of the other men desiring for a child; that they will find comfort in God until they have a child of their own and that God will answer their prayers for a child.

Love & Blessings, Meredith

Sunday, June 14, 2009

This weekend has been anything but wonderful. My grief sneaks up on me in the oddest of moments. And I'm not sure where this grief comes from. This baby was never meant to be ours, we didn't even lose something that we was intended to be ours. I feel like I'm borrowing someone else's grief, mourning someone I don't know - it feels awkward, foreign but right. Outside of these moments of grief I feel great joy for the couple that was chosen: they'd been a client of MCB much longer than we've been and I'm sure they're desire for a family is just as strong as ours. I also feel great relief for the hope I have that this is not the end, our journey will continue and my heart will heal. I just wish I knew what my heart was being prepared for and I'm sure one day I'll know... in His time.

Then this afternoon a well meaning friend directed me to a website where this poem was located. And it just kind of says it all:

I have longed and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation
are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep,
and discover.
I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the
sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him
and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop
another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream.
My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense;
that God has given me this insight,
this special vision with which I will look upon my child.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to
or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured.
I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister
because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment,
as I have been betrayed by my own body.
I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face,
yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me,
I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort.
I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.

I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine,
of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth
when life is beyond hard.

I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes.
I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

Love & Blessings, Meredith

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Not Broken

Today did not go as we had planned. We were ready for the interview and the interview itself went wonderfully. The bm may have been 15 years old but she was wise beyond her years. Even though she didn't choose us, she will continue to be in our prayers. Our lawyer said that they (bm and her mom) were a little uneasy about how young we were so that set us back a little bit. But the kicker was that one of the other couples they interviewed was the eye doctor to the bm's mom. So we were too young and the other couple had a link to them and the income of a doctor.

I would be lying if I said we are okay. I'm terribly sad, Matt's equally as sad and my heart hurts. I'm left wondering if our young age will continue to be a deterrent until we're older. But unlike the devestating news of December, today we are heartbroken but not broken. We will take our time to be sad and then we will use this experience to grow from and like every other experience we pray that it will draw us closer to God. Our journey for a family will continue on and we will continue to have faith: "For we walk by faith, not sight", 2 Corinthians 5:7.

I knew I was in deep when I ordered fabric samples for the nursery in our new house, but until we weren't chosen I didn't know how deep in love with this baby that I had never seen, heard a heart beat or felt a kick I actually was. And I'd like to think that one thing I'd learn from this experience is to guard my heart a little more next time. But if I'm realistic, I don't think I have that capability - when I love, I give it everything I have. Sort of like a catch-22: love and get hurt, try not to love and fail miserably.

But we will learn from this: Matt and I will continue to grow closer to one another and closer to God. 1 Peter 5:7 tells me "Cast all you cares on Him, because He cares for you," and tonight as I lay in bed that's exactly what I plan to do.

Will you join us as we try to follow God and live out Romans 12:12 "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Matt and I will rejoice in the hope we have in Him, continue to be patient while He directs our path and continue to pray for His will. We are heartbroken, but we are NOT broken.

Love & Blessings, Meredith

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life's LITTLE Uncertainties

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.

Please think of us tomorrow at 4:45 as we meet with our prospective birth mother. The anticipation has become all but consuming; my thoughts, prayers and hopes are never far from
her (birth mother) and the baby. And when I say "the baby", my heart aches, because I desperately wish to say "our baby." I've actually had to stop myself from using those words to frequently because I'm afraid that I'll lose what's not even ours yet. Our future is so uncertain, at least to us.

Corrie ten Boom said "Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see."

So while I want so badly for this baby to be "our baby" I need to remember that our plan is not always His plan. Jeremiah 29:11 says "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."and for the longest time I've used that verse as my verse: the verse I'd cling to when life didn't go the way I thought it would, when life's little uncertaities kept creeping up.

And if tomorrow doesn't go the way we'd like it too, we'll remember Jeremiah 29:11. But if He answeres our prayers the way we asked, I'll remember that God has a plan for me, for Matt and for our family.

But until we know exactly the direction He is leading us, will you join us in prayer? Prayers for this young birth mother; that she feels God's love and has a healthy pregnancy, for us; that she asks us to be her baby's parents, that God uses us in her life and that Matt and I stand firm in our faith through this uncertain time.

I am so excited, quite nervous and extremely scared. 1 more sleepless night to endure, 7 hours of work and then the meeting that may truly be the answer to our prayers and the beginning of the next chapter in our lives; our continued journey through life's little uncertainties.

Love & Blessings, Meredith

To fill some of my time afternoon I lost miserably in Mario Cart to my nephew, ordered fabric swatches from Polka Tot Designs and read the newest edition of Serious Life. If you're looking for an interesting and inspiration read, click on the badge below:

Serious.Life Magazine

Thursday, June 4, 2009

One Week

In one week:
  • I will have gone 16 nights with minimal sleep, continuously waking up thinking about our potential birth mother and our potential baby
  • I will have prayed more, read my Bible more and asked for prayers more than ever before
  • I will have sang more contemporay Christian music at the top of my lungs in my car, illiciting even more strange looks than usual
  • we will meet the birth mother of our potential baby.

Birth mother, potential baby, interviews and God's will have played a big part on the past 9 days and I imagine will play an even bigger part on the upcoming 7 days. Not an hour goes by that I don't find myself day dreaming (or dreaming) about our baby. Yes, I'm in that deep because I already think of this young girls baby as our baby. I've thought about the upcoming months until her due date in October, I've thought of names, colors and baby products I just want to have. Glass bottles, cloth diapers and organic cotton sheets have been found.

I am in deep and that scares me. But we (Matt and I) feel that God put this young girl in our path for a reason. And while we pray ferverently that His reason is that this baby will be the first addition to the LaGorga family, we also pray that no matter what happens, God will use us in this young girls life. That when she sees us and talks to us, she not only feels comfortable with completing a plan of adoption with us for her child but that she also sees God's love for her through us. Will you join us in praying for her: that with everything that she's thinking and feeling that she will feel God's love for her. God is in control, and while we pray that this baby is OUR baby, we pray for God's will to be done according to His plan for us and for this birth mother and baby.

Trying to keep busy to stop the thoughts of room colors, names and all things baby has deepened my desire to find a way to help Africa. While I know God has put Ethiopia in our hearts because eventually we will find part of our family there, I want to do something now! So, I've joined the Mocha Club and would love for you to go check it out. My team name is Hose143 for in Hosea 14:3 says "In you the orphan finds mercy" and while I'm not sure how much I can provide any orphan, I will do my best. Going to Starbucks two less times a month will change nothing for me but a whole lot for them...

Love & Blessings, Meredith