A lot has happened!
Sorry to keep you all in limbo. The husband had last week off from work, so instead of updating the blog, I spent my free time chilling with him. Family first, blog second, that's what I always say!
Let's start with the retreat, because you're probably wondering how the it went. Let me just say, it was...
Thank you for all the prayers!! It really ended up being a wonderful retreat weekend. We've heard such positive feedback from so many of the teens.
"I wish I was still on retreat! I miss it!"
"I can't wait 'til next year's winter retreat!"
"I did not expect to experience this much love and friendship this weekend but I am so happy I went and had so much fun."
"Met so many new people and love learning about my Catholic faith."
Praise be to God!!
And in case you're wondering, yes, there were minor glitches here and there. Like drivers getting lost in the dark on the way there. And kicking off the first night of the retreat an hour late. And sending the teens to bed at 1am on the first night. And the teens being bored to yawns by my talk. And one of the teens burning his hand on a wire marshmallow skewer. And one of the adult leaders throwing some serious disrespect my way the entire weekend.
But overall, I couldn't be more pleased. And I couldn't have done it without such a supportive team. (God included!)
|Retreat leaders - Beloved 2014|
Oh, and no one noticed the major mistake on the back of the retreat shirts. Win!
Then there was the home inspection for our home study.
We started the morning with a serious cleaning of the apartment. This included taking a trip out to JC Penny to buy a vacuum cleaner since our old vacuum cleaner 1.) spit out little bits and crumbs instead of sucking them up and 2.) started smoking after a few minutes of use. Not pretty.
John was so pleased with our new vacuum cleaner, he let me snap a picture of him using it.
|I love a man who cleans. :)|
Our case worker arrived at exactly 2pm and away we went. We sat and chatted for a little bit to make sure we had all of our paperwork and documents and fingerprints and physicals and background checks and etc. ready to go. Then she walked through our apartment for about 2 minutes, mainly just looking for smoke detectors and our fire extinguisher. And that was it!
It was over in a flash. I couldn't believe it! Maybe I was just extremely clueless on what a home study's home inspection was supposed to include, but she didn't even look at our freshly scrubbed tub or our nicely dusted counter tops or our embarrassingly messy catch-all closet in the guest bedroom. Which, honestly, I'm 100% ok with, so long as that means we've passed!
She told us she'd have our home study typed up and ready to go by next week. Which is now this week!! So pretty soon, so long as she really has all our paperwork, etc. and she was pleased with the inspection, we should be done-so with the home study!! Weeee!!
I need to stop for a second and say... it was likely all of your prayers that made this part of the process so easy. So, thank you. We are so, so grateful.
Speaking of adoption, John picked up a stack of adoption books for us at the library last week!
I was shocked and excited to see how many books the library had on adoption. And husband said this was just a small portion of what they actually had available. He picked the ones he felt were most relevant to us. What a sweetie.
I've already started reading the top one, Inside Transracial Adoption, and the bottom one, Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide. They both have wonderful insights. Transracial adoption is something we are really interested in learning more about, so I was happy to see that in the pile. And the step-by-step guide is neat too, as it covers everything and anything adoption related. Though it seems to be more pointed at parents who aren't using an agency, but instead an adoption facilitator or lawyer. And it focuses on using the internet as the "best" tool for connecting birthparents and adoptive parents. So, not sure it's exactly the right book for us, but it's still got some great info.
I can't wait to dive into these books over the next few weeks.
Still speaking of adoption, the next step for us is creating our profile for our agency. The profile is what agencies show to birthparents when they are trying to find the perfect adoptive family for their child.
So I'm a liiiiittle stressed about getting that done. Because I just want it to be perfect, ya know? I want the birthparents to really get to know us through our two pages of words and pictures. And I realize to be that authentic, putting our profile together will probably take lots of time, effort, and reflection. It'll be worth it, but I'm just nervous to start the task.
I already have a few ideas, but we are definitely open to helpful pointers. For anyone out there that's made an adoption profile before: any tips?
As soon as our profile is done, we'll be in the actual waiting stage of adoption. Where it could happen at any time. We could actually be matched with a precious forever son or daughter!
And we couldn't be more excited!
Cycle day 1 seems to be right around the corner, which I am more acutely aware of than ever before, especially now that I have my own personalized AF's-coming-to-get-you signs and symptoms list.
I honestly feel more at peace with the idea of a looming CD1 than I ever have before. Maybe it's because our adoption adventure is really taking off. Maybe it's because time and experience have helped heal my bitter IF heart just a little bit. Or maybe it's the abundance of prayers I have coming my way this month. Whatever the case may be, I'm thinking I'll be ok come Wednesday (or Thursday or Friday or whenever AF decides to show up). I guess we shall see. :)
Finally, for those curious about the status of my Aerogarden:
|BOOM! Monster herbs!|
Look how tall the plants have gotten! And I've already pruned several of them. Now to figure out ways to use them. Who wants a mojito? Some pesto? Tzatziki? :)
Thanks again for all of your prayers. I felt them through the retreat. I felt them through our home inspection. I feel them today! We are so appreciative. Friends are so good. Life is so good. God is so good!