Monday, September 22, 2014

New Blog!

Hi friends!

I've started a new blog that pulls all aspects of my life into one place. You are very welcome to read it. I'll be continuing my adoption and infertility posts over there, although I do plan on copying the posts here, too. This space has been so important to me - I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to it yet!

My new blog:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why We're Adopting

Today I applied for an adoption grant through our church association. It's a neat ministry where Southern Baptist pastors and missionaries can apply to receive aid for an adoption. Exciting, right? As part of the application, I had to share why we're adopting, and this is what I wrote:

Our journey to adoption has been a long one, and at times it has been full of many tears. We were married in 2005 and knew we wanted a family–and a big one at that!–but our plans to have children didn’t go as we thought. After much prayer and counsel, we felt led to begin fertility treatments, beginning with the most conservative treatment and ending with a last-effort attempt of In-Vitro Fertilization. During that time, we found out Candace had severe endometriosis that required surgery, and just before our IVF, she was diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Syndrome. We were heartbroken as we heard our doctor tell us we had a less than 1% chance of conceiving.

Infertility is often a huge burden for a couple to bear–financially, emotionally, and spiritually. We experienced great loss and heartbreak, calling on God’s strength and love and the support of our church to get us through something we simply did not understand. Through some research, Candace became connected with Bethany Christian Services, an organization that offered infertility counsel and help. Little did we know that this would be the organization, years later, that we would join with to bring a child home!

Although we never began our marriage thinking adoption would be part of our life, here we are, excited and ready to grow our family through adoption! God has done a huge healing in our lives, mending the brokenness from so many “fails” and opening up our hearts to something new and different. We also see how God was preparing us along the way, without us even knowing it. Rob, as an Associate Pastor, is over a number of different areas, one of them being our youth ministry. Candace, a high school teacher, has been part of that with him, as well as the children’s ministry. God has placed us in so many areas of service that involve children, showing us that His love is what binds us. God has used our experiences, our joys and our pain over the past years to grow us and prepare us to be Christ-like adoptive parents to a little one.

We began our process and home study at the beginning of 2014 and just completed it in July. Although the journey has been long, our reason for adopting seems simple now: God has poured out his love and mercy on us, and we want to do the same. We want to experience–as a family–God’s redemption through adoption. We are excited to work with Bethany Christian Services to match us with a birth mother who is choosing a plan of adoption for her child. We will be part of an open adoption, meaning we will be connected to the birth mother and possibly the birth father, as well as extended family. We know there will be tough moments along the way, but we trust that God is working this out to be something beautiful.

I'll let you all know if we receive this help! Please pray that God's will is done in this! Also, if anyone is interested in supporting us financially in our adoption, you are certainly welcome to :) You can send support to our church's adoption fund, making a note that it is for the Feely family. (This gift is tax deductible, so if you would like a receipt be sure and include a request for one with your name and home address.) Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! This child is already so loved. :)

Sierra Baptist Church
1437 E. Walnut Ave.
Visalia, CA 93292

Saturday, July 26, 2014

We're waiting...officially!

Today we sent off our adoption profiles! At this point, our home study is completely finished, and we are an official waiting family! We are full of joy and are definitely celebrating this moment! Woo-hoo!

Monday, July 14, 2014


I shared this on my personal blog this morning but thought I'd share it here, as well, for my sweet Loveliest Way readers.

A little over a week ago, our head pastor was in a serious bicycling accident while making his way back from a morning ride. As far as we know, he somehow lost control of his bike and crashed head-first into a boulder. His injuries are serious, and although he is making great progress for the type of trauma he experienced, he still has a long journey ahead.

Please pray for him and his family, specifically his wife who is at his side every moment she can be. Pray for our church and for my husband, Rob, who is the associate pastor of our church. A great burden is on his shoulders to keep everything up, and he needs wisdom and strength as he continues to lead the church.

We see God's hand in all of this. God spared our pastor's life and is already working mightily in his healing. He provided help quickly in spite of cell phones not having reception. He orchestrated people, including our pastor's children and some extended family, to be home and nearby when needed. He blessed us this past week at our VBS and youth event, and He even prepared Rob and me by allowing us to get the majority of our adoption work finished so we can be present with our pastor and church in this time.

It makes it all the easier to trust the Lord when He is already proving Himself faithful! If you are interested in keeping up with the progress of our pastor, you can follow the updates on this Facebook page.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Healthy and Safe

This week, we finished the last of our items on the giant list. We completed our Preference Survey and handed it in to our social worker.

This may have been the hardest part yet. It didn't require the hours of design and writing the Adoption Profile took, and it didn't require quizzes to receive credit (as each online course does), but it dug deep into my heart more than anything else. 

The Preference Survey is a lengthy questionnaire that explains what we're open to adopting, specifically regarding health and background. We prayed (and cried, at times) our way through it, recognizing that this–I'll say it again–is hard.

I've been friends with many pregnant women now, and I've prayed with them as they carried their babies. I have yet to experience a woman who has ever asked for anything except that her baby would be healthy. That's it. That's a mother's deepest desire: that her tiny baby growing inside would be healthy and safe.

But, to be honest, there really isn't a box to check that says "healthy and safe" on the survey. The reality is that many and arguably all of these babies are entering the world with some amount of trauma. And so, we must decide what we can handle, what God has equipped us to do. I have no doubt in my mind that I will love any baby we get to hold in our arms and have for life, but that fact doesn't make this any easier. I, like any mother-to-be, want my baby to be healthy and safe.

This is yet one more loss we must face in our infertility, one more piece we must release. I have no control over what happens to our baby during its nine months of life with its mother. Even as we completed the survey and explained what we were open to, we both recognized that all of this is out of our hands. We are at the mercy of God, depending on His grace and His plan to make this work out for good.

I've been reminded, though, that we are depending on God's grace and His plan for good every single day. We try to keep ourselves and those we love healthy and safe, but sometimes God allows otherwise. This week alone, we saw that happen on a huge scale with someone we love, and everything we believe comes to the surface during these moments. Is God who He says He is, even in the face of illness, accidents, and loss? Is God still good, is His plan still perfect, even when we're not healthy and safe?

The answer is yes. Yes, God is who He says He is; yes, God still is good; yes, God's plan is perfect. In trials, in loss, in things we don't understand, God is working out His plan, a plan much much bigger than keeping our bodies healthy and safe. In my humanness, in my weakness, I can be entirely concerned with protecting this body, when perhaps God cares more about the health and continuing salvation of our souls.

It's at this point of understanding that I'm left completely helpless and dependent on God. Every single thing is out of my control, but He has a purpose for each joy and trial in my life. I praise Him that He has neither surprise at the things that happen, nor fear. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. This is my comfort and peace in life: He knows, He can, and He loves. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Grace for today

Yesterday started strong. We had finished our adoption profile and completed our home inspection. I woke up, my body and mind alert to begin working on something, then quickly realized there wasn't much to do anymore. We had gotten through that strenuous 90-day assessment process, and so I poured myself a cup of coffee, ready to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing day.


I should know by now. I really should. Every single time we hit a milestone or cross a bridge, the weight of it all falls on me again. The day may have started strong, but soon I was a wreck. A sobbing mess.

You know, I grow weary of these complicated emotions of mine. Grief and joy. Loss and hope. Confident one moment, then terrified the next. Strong in the morning, but weak by noon.

Here's the thing about us: we threw out our rose-colored glasses long ago. From the moment we decided to grow our family, it has been hard. Even now, even though we are in the adoption process and we believe that we will have our child one day, the road ahead is still difficult.

I was reminded of something I learned at our Bible study this past winter. Beth Moore said something so profound (and Kelly unknowingly echoed it yesterday). Beth said that when we put ourselves in these future situations, these situations that are hard and even frightening, we are envisioning ourselves there without the grace and help of God.

God has given us grace for today, for what He's calling us to right now. He's guided us, loved us, provided for us, and we have every reason to trust Him. We don't know why certain things have happened or not happened. We don't know how it will all work out. But we know that He's here, and He has a plan. We know that every single day, He gives us what we need to be strong and brave and faithful.

That's the key, though: He gives it to us. Which means that we have to recognize our weakness and allow Him to be our strength. It was okay that I fell to pieces yesterday. This is huge! This is bigger than anything we can do on our own. But if I simply remained in my crumpled state, I'd be missing out on who God is in my life. He gives me strength for each day and grace for each moment. He is our hope for today and for our future.

Little by little, I allowed Him to strengthen me yesterday. My friends and family encouraged me; my husband supported me; and the words in Scripture empowered me. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11).

By the evening, there was peace in my heart, and there still is. I know tears will come again, and I know there will be tough days ahead. But I hope I remember sooner than later that God gives us what we need in the moment we need it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Adoption Profile...Check!

We finished our adoption profile last night! It has been nearly a week of working on this, and I have no doubt we've spent at least 40 hours on it. It's complete, though, and the order is on the way. What a huge weight off of our shoulders! We also had our inspection yesterday, so it was a big day for the Feely's.

Here's the final cut. Note that for this post, I took out a few photos and bits of information, so if there are blank spots, rest assured that those are filled :)

Page 1: Individual Information
Pages 2-3: Joint Information
Pages 4-5: Letter to the Birth Parents
Pages 6-7: About Us
Pages 8-9: Places We Love
Pages 10-11: Our Family, Friends, and Faith
Page 12: Our Home

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sneak Peek of our Adoption Profile

For the last two days, I have remained in my pjs from morning until night, working on one thing: our adoption profile. Here's a little glimpse of it:

Like seemingly every aspect in this process, this has been a lot more work than I anticipated. With the sheer weight of it all (birth mothers will use this–these pictures, these words, these pieces of our heart!–to consider us for a match) coupled with my tendency to overdo everything, it's been a bit stressful. I'm so thankful to have the summer off and to be home this week! It's been a lot of work, but it has been good to know I can pour all of my attention into it and finish it.

It's not finished, though. Close, but not quite. We'd like to get some updated photos, so that will be a project for this weekend. Plus, we'd love to include a picture or two from when we were little, so that means finding and scanning old photographs. Still, the majority of the plotting and writing of these twelve pages is complete!

In fact, things in general are progressing nicely. We have only two online classes left and just a few more chapters to read in the book The Connected Child. Monday is our home inspection, and we are almost ready for it. Once our profile is finished, we'll use portions of it to complete some other elements. And–fingers crossed–that's it! For now, at least :) Our social worker will do her part and get us all approved, and then we'll be placed on the waiting families list. Whew!

I look forward to having all the pieces in place, so we can simply rest and wait. It's been a lot these past few months, so I welcome some quiet. Notice I said some quiet. We don't want to be waiting forever!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Where We Are

I started writing this post simply to share where we are in the process and the new items we've checked off of our list. In the past week and a half, we have completed six online courses and our individual interviews. We have only a few courses left, our home inspection, and the creation of our adoption profile. Amazing!

But it's time to share where we are emotionally, as well. With every step, we find ourselves revisiting a piece of our grief and feeling some part of our loss. This past week, we were at the beach celebrating our anniversary. There were (of course) countless families enjoying the sun and waves, and as I watched darling kids bounce around on the beach, my heart was heavy. One of the greatest losses for us is not knowing what our biological children would have looked like. I grieve that I will never know them, that we will never get to say she has my eyes or his hair color. As we're learning about what it means to be an adoptive family, what it means to even be a conspicuous family, that loss feels fresh again. Please don't misunderstand: I have joy when I think about the adoptive child God will give us, and there is an excitement over what he or she will look like! But just because I have joy and excitement over a good thing doesn't mean there aren't tears over the loss. This is true for our future adoptive child, just as it is true for us. 

In fact, so much of our training and education has focused on the unique challenges we will have being adoptive parents. At times, it can be overwhelming. We find ourselves growing in knowledge and preparation, but with that comes the heavy reality that this will, from the very beginning, be different. It will, from the very beginning, be hard. And that isn't even touching on the difficulties of parenting in general, adoptive or not. 

It was good last night, then, when Steph reminded me that it's the daily life that will make it all worth it. Right now, we are learning all about the challenges, the questions, the crises, and the difficulties; very little time is spent talking about the beauty of being parents, the everyday moments we'll share with our little one, and the big milestones that we'll all celebrate together. But those will be ours, too.

So, where we are: moving along, checking things off, putting one foot in front of the other, and believing even when it's difficult that God is in this.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Adoption Seminar

Yesterday was a long day at the end of a long week. We finished out our school year, our children's Wednesday night ministry, as well as finalized plans for out-of-state traveling this month. Instead of having our Friday off (the usual routine for us lucky kids), we woke up bright and early and drove two hours to Modesto for an all-day adoption seminar.

The day was amazing! Exhausting, of course, but amazing. The ladies at Bethany Christian Service were friendly and knowledgeable and somehow managed to put together an eight-hour program that kept our attention. Three other couples working through their home study process joined us, which was really neat.

I won't be able to effectively share what we learned since I'm still recovering from the crazy week, but here are a few highlights of the day:

  • Meeting the wonderful staff of BCS and three other couples somewhere along the same journey we are. Wonderful support.
  • A "skit" (for lack of a better word) of the adoption process with BCS–sounds silly but was so helpful seeing how it all works and what is often happening simultaneously
  • Learning about The Connected Child, a book and series of videos that BCS highly recommends. I am ready to read this! You can see a bit about it at the website
  • Helpful information on interracial adoption. Take a look at PACT to learn a bit more. 
  • Meeting and listening to the story of three birth mothers who came to Bethany Christian Services while pregnant and made an adoption plan. This was awesome.
  • Learning more about Open Adoption and what that may look like
  • Statistics about this new generation of birth mothers who make an adoption plan
  • New language: not "put up for adoption" or "given away" but made an adoption plan
  • Getting a strong dose of both reality and hope!
After the seminar, we drove home, stopping off in Fresno for dinner at Cheesecake Factory and a quick trip to Anthropologie, my home away from home. It was a good day that gave us a lot to think about and talk about it, but perhaps more importantly, gave us real tools to empower us. We are becoming more and more confident with each new step, embracing the unknowns that accompany adoption with knowledge and faith.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Application Process

A lot has happened over the past couple of months. Since our first interview at Bethany on March 18, we have jumped in to our application and home study assessment. At the interview, they had asked if we'd have any problem completing the application within three months. Three months to fill out paperwork, I thought. No problem!

We realize now why they give that amount of time, and recognize it can even be a challenge to fit it all in. The application includes everything. Sure, there were lots of questions we answered (that took a couple of evenings to complete), but beyond that there was fingerprinting, physicals, lab work, TB testing, ordering records, CPR/First Aid certification, just to name the biggies. We also have a pretty lengthy list of online webinars and classes to take, as well as an all-day event in Modesto next week. That and the rest of our joint interview, our individual interviews, and our home inspection are still on the list to do! As I said, a lot has happened over the past couple of months.

But more than just completing our application process has happened. We find ourselves more and more excited about adopting each day. We are learning and growing so much. We are dreaming.

The next month will (hopefully) finish up most of our process! And then...

...we wait.

We're getting pretty good at waiting. ;)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

One Year

One year ago today, two embryos were formed, and we loved them more than we'd loved anything before. They weren't able to stay with us on this earth, but we look forward to seeing them one day.

I came home today, and Robby had written this:

Amidst the cross of yesterday and the resurrection of tomorrow, we find our hope that our little embryos will be unfolded in the presence of God and that they will delight in Him, and He in them, forever. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

It's beginning!

Yesterday we received the email from the adoption agency letting us know that we are officially beginning this process with them! Let's all just take a moment and cheer!


We are full of praise and excitement, friends! Today we have the day off, so we'll be filling out our first set of paperwork and sending off that first check. It's amazing to think of the journey we've had and the changes we've experienced, and I'm sure I'll sit and write about that one of these days. Today, I thought  I'd line out a bit of what we're expecting over the next few months and year(s).

First of all, Bethany Christian Services has gone through some major changes in the last year or two. Part of that simply has come because the world of adoption is changing. That being said, if you or someone you know has adopted through BCS, you'll notice things are a bit different now.

Step 1 (Application and Assessment)
The first step is the assessment. This includes the formal application, interviews, documentation, verifications, legal clearances, a home safety check, adoption education, and a written Home Study and and approval. All of this is a 90 day process (hopefully!). After it is finished, we are officially adoptive parents material! This first step is $5000, and thanks to the many people who have donated to the adoption fund at our church (this was set up as a memorial after my grandmother passed away last fall), this first step is covered!

Step 2 (Bethany Partner Family Services)
Once we have been approved, we can choose to be included in the pool of Bethany families waiting for an adoption. There are some requirements to be met to be included, but (as far as we can tell), we do meet them. Not everyone necessarily goes on to step 2, though. After being approved, a couple may be able to complete their adoption elsewhere or independently. This second step is $5000.

Step 3 (Adoption Placement)
This is when an adoption actually takes place. This final payment is due once a child is under our care. :) It is usually around $8000 to complete the adoption placement.

That's it...three easy steps! (Ha!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Surprise Interview

Today, after a very long five hours of proctoring the CAHSEE (not the most exciting way to spend a morning), Robby and I rushed off to Fresno for our first official adoption meeting. You may remember me mentioning that two weeks ago we were part of an online orientation meeting, all experienced from the comfort of our couch. Today was much different: it was just me, Robby, and two women from Bethany Christian Services, one of which (we hope, anyway, if all goes well this week!) will be our social worker.

We sat in a small room, the four of us gathered around a table. After some initial greeting, they jumped right in to the questions in front of them. I could sense Robby thinking exactly what I was: Wait a second...are they interviewing us?!?

Honestly, I had thought this would simply be another Q&A time for us, allowing us an opportunity to ask more questions. I thought we would get loaded up with literature to study and websites to visit and be sent on our way. Instead, they wanted to make sure that this is a good fit, on both sides.

Even though the interview was informal and casual, it nonetheless felt very real. They asked about our faith, what led us to adoption, our grief process, our marriage, our financial situation, our health, our jobs, our plans.

The amazing thing is that Robby and I, although we didn't realize this would be an interview, were able to answer the questions just as I would have hoped. We were prepared because God has been preparing us! We were honest with our excitement, as well as our past grief.

It's interesting to compare this meeting with the orientation we had with BCS in January of 2012. That night, I could hardly hold back my tears. All I knew was that I wasn't ready. Today I felt strong, healed, ready.

This week, we will hear back from BCS, letting us know if we'll be continuing the assessment with them. If so, then the next 90 days will be busy!

I'll share more soon, but for now, I need to sleep. It's been a long day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I lift my eyes up...

I feel like I've experienced a year's of emotions over the past week, especially the first few days after the adoption orientation. I forget, somehow, that every single time we take a step forward, especially if it's moving into something different or challenging (and it always is), all the emotions of our infertility wash over me. Looking back over the past week, I can distinctly see myself going through a cycle of grief. A condensed, intense cycle of grief.

Many times, I tried to write, but I couldn't. And, in this case, that was a good thing. I needed to allow myself to feel what I needed to feel without any filters. I needed to say things aloud that I could never say to anyone else, and not worry about making excuses when I said them.

This is the truth, friends. I am broken. Both of us are. God is healing, we know that full well, but we are daily impacted by our infertility, our failed treatments, our embryos that never came to be.

Because I feel so broken, adoption is especially difficult. And finally this week, something clicked. I realized that I've had in my head this picture of the two types of couples who adopt. These pictures aren't true or right; they simply are what I've built in my mind for some time.

Couple A: This couple is whole. They have, from the beginning or close to it, chosen adoption. Their journey to have children is characterized by joy and love. Their bodies work as they should, so their resources have been spent well. Out of their wholeness, they are able to give without needing anything in return.

Couple B: This couple is broken, often by infertility. They did not choose adoption from the beginning. Their journey to have children has been characterized by tears and disappointment. They have spent so much on fixing themselves only to end up seemingly worse. Now, as they begin something new, they move ahead having experienced deep loss, and they recognize they have a need.

Of course, in this whole scenario, we are Couple B. We come to adoption later in life and in our marriage, after our attempts to have children biologically have failed. We wish we were whole, wish somehow that our past experiences wouldn't impact who we are, but that's not the case. We come offering, yes, offering our hearts and home and love and entire lives. But we also come needing. And that's hard to admit, especially when we walk into something that is supposed to be child-centered and not couple-centered.

It was freeing once I realized this picture in my head! I have been paralyzed by fear and insecurity in all of this because I struggle with feelings of inadequacy. I keep comparing myself to model Couple A. (And I'm pretty sure they don't exist since all couples come with some brokenness.) I want to come to an adoption and say, I'm perfect! I'm whole! All my wounds are healed and my brokenness fixed! I don't need anything or anyone; I'm simply here to give!

But I can't. Oh I am being made whole and I am being healed. But I come needing so many things and so many people. I need grace and love. I need support. I need my husband. I need my God.

And I need a mother who out of a fierce, desperate love for her child will trust that we will love her baby just as much as she. I need someone else to provide for me and my husband what we cannot have on our own. If that isn't the definition of need, I don't know what is.

It was a tough week, friends. I felt like I was seeing myself as I never have before. I've always thought of myself as confident and secure, able to do anything I put my mind to! And yet, this week, I had to face the difficult truth that I am full of fears and insecurities. I feel inadequate and vulnerable, and I don't like it one bit.

It was as if God was giving me a glimpse of where I am so He could move me. But I didn't know what to do next! I didn't know how I was going to deal with this new recognition.

And then Monday came. For the last six weeks, the women in our church have been studying Deuteronomy, working through Beth Moore's Law of Love series. Monday was our last lesson, and somehow every point seemed to answer the questions I've had over the last week. Tears were streaming down my cheek the entire time because I knew God was speaking to me.

We looked at the concluding words of Moses to the Israelites and focused on verse 27 of chapter 33: "There is none like the God of Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help." Of all that Beth could have focused on, she spent much of the hour reminding us that we have a God who helps us.

It's interesting to consider the ramifications of this specific word, help. Help doesn't mean someone does it for us. Help means someone comes alongside of us and enables us, sometimes even empowers us. This is true of God! He is the Almighty, and so he certainly could simply make things happen and do the difficult thing for us. (I'll admit I've prayed that He'd just drop a baby in a basket on my doorstep!) Instead, He says He'll help us. He'll ride through the heavens to our aid. He'll give us everything we need to have the victory.

My question had been, "God, how can I possibly do this?" And His answer was simple: "I'll help you."

God will help me. God will help me. God–as in the God who created this entire universe, the God who is worthy of all glory and honor and praise, the God who with a word speaks life into existence–He will help me. He will help us. He'll ride through the heavens to our aid.

I wrote last week that God was going to move the mountain, and that is true. But He'll use us to do it. All we need is faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our Adoption Orientation: Good, but not Easy

Yesterday evening, Robby and I joined with thirty-five other couples in our adoption orientation with Bethany Christian Services. Interestingly enough, we participated from the comfort of our own couch in our own home. Since the main office is housed in Modesto but serves much of Central and Northern California, they choose to have these orientations conference-call style, with us texting in our questions.

The entire orientation took about two hours. We've actually been in such an orientation before (except face-to-face), but since it was over two years ago, we wanted to sit in again. Some of the information was new, and some we knew well, but it was all good.

Of course, good information does not necessary equal easy-to-process-and-put-into-practice information. Some of what we heard was hard, friends. There is a waiting list even to get on the waiting list. Statistically speaking, adoptions have dramatically decreased, (which in many ways is a positive thing!), but the reality is there are more waiting families than there are babies. Some couples have been waiting for years and are still waiting. Embryo adoption was mentioned, a door we've barely closed, which naturally had us curious again. Networking was brought up, which is a new (and somewhat intimidating!) idea to us. And the simple question of Are you ready? always causes us to pause for a moment. This is the reality: Adoption is no small endeavor emotionally, financially, mentally, or spiritually.

The truth is, when the orientation was over, I felt pretty defeated. And unfortunately, since the wounds of infertility aren't totally healed (and I wonder if they ever will be), I also felt heartbroken all over again.

Thankfully, I didn't stay defeated for long. (That, by the way, is how I know I'm coming along in my healing.) The evening ended good. It ended in prayer, in Scripture, in peace, and in joy!

It ended with us once again recognizing that it is God who moves mountains! God is preparing the way for us, as well as for the mother and baby we will one day know. (That thought is beyond anything I can attempt to fathom, friends!) It's not easy for us, being where we are, but it is good. I wonder if that is true of so many things in life.

We look forward to sharing more with you! And, as I say all the time, we thank you for praying and caring. :) And now, a pretty picture to leave you with, simply because budding trees mean hope to us. This is our gorgeous butterfly magnolia tree, which burst into bloom a week or so ago.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Signed Up

Today we signed up for the informational meeting for domestic adoption at Bethany Christian Services. I'm nervous. Not so much about attending the meeting--that I'm looking forward to!--but because our file there makes us look like flaky, non-commital people.

Two years ago, we went to a meeting there and instantly knew we weren't ready. I remember sitting in the room and within minutes fighting back tears. Everything was difficult that night, and when we heard that BCS was supportive of open adoptions, that was it. Adoption was a new and foreign enough concept--throwing in birth parents and birth grandparents into the mix was more than I could handle.

Last year, we filled out a preliminary application (again, I think, since I'm pretty sure I had already filled one out...) and even talked to someone about starting up the process. It never really went anywhere, though. I had tried to sign us up for a meeting, but we couldn't make the two that were offered in the fall.

Last week I emailed saying we wanted to attend another meeting, then followed up with a call today.

Hopefully they have lots of grace for couples like us, couples who are navigating these emotions as best as they can.

At any rate, we're signed up! Wow, this is getting exciting!