Tuesday, May 7, 2019

While We Wait, Round 2: April 2019 (Month #3)

Adoption News: *crickets, crickets*

Has it only been three months?!? Oh boy. Sometimes it already feels like this is taking forever... ;) We are so eager to welcome another little one into our home, and for Zelie to be a big sister. And she is so ready! She points out babies to us all the time, especially if they are crying. And she's developing such a sweet, caring heart. There's one book we read where a baby has dropped his pacifier and is crying, and usually we get "stuck" on that page as we talk about baby's feelings and how probably his mommy will get his pacifier for him. She is going to make such a great big sister!

But all in God's timing! Just as when we waited for Zelie, we have to trust that God knows our hearts and if there is another child out there meant for our family, he/she will find us - hopefully soon!

In Other News:

April is now a super-special month for our family because of our sweet girl's birthday! We had a blast celebrating her SECOND birthday. We had a small baby-shark themed party, which she seemed to really enjoy. We watched "the" video all together, and the kids went for a "shark hunt" in the backyard, finding little sea creatures that Dan had meticulously hidden. The big treat was cupcakes - and Zelie also loved the gummy sharks! Amazing that our baby is now TWO!

April was also Easter this year, and we had a wonderful time visiting Bethany's parents in Pennsylvania. Dan's mom was with us too, which was great. On Holy Saturday we all went to Longwood Gardens, which is gorgeous this time of year. They had this magical children's garden section with lots of water features, which Zelie obviously loved:

She is a fan of flowers in general!

And Easter Sunday itself was beautiful. He is risen, Alleluia!

Anything else....our garden is coming up nicely (peas, beets, lettuce, etc.), and the weather in general was just beautiful. Zelie has been enjoying the new swingset that Dan (and friends) built for her! 

That's about it - until next month! Pray for us!

- Dan, Bethany, and Zelie

Sunday, March 31, 2019

While We Wait, Round 2: March 2019 (Month #2)

Adoption News: Nothing to report this month either. But it's still early, only month 2! Lent has given us lots of opportunities to draw close to God and ask for His will in sending another child to our family.

In Other News:

Zelie started gymnastics! She loves to jump, climb, and spin, so we thought we'd try out a gymnastics class for toddlers (18 mo-3 years). It's a weekly class for six weeks, forty-five minutes long. And it's quite a workout! Zelie's coach leads the class through basically an obstacle course: climbing over things, jumping down a trampoline, walking a balance beam (!), etc. Zelie is tired out after the class, so that's saying something!

National pancake day! Three free pancakes at IHOP - can't go wrong with that!

Yard improvement: with the Spring warmer weather, we got our garden ready for the Spring, made a Mary grotto, AND Dan and some friends built Zelie a new swingset! (The old one was here when we moved in, and was falling down.)

Finally - we enjoyed the most beautiful time of the year in DC, cherry blossom season. Two of the best places in Spring: the National Arboretum and downtown on the National Mall. 

Until next month!

- Dan, Bethany and Zelie

Thursday, February 28, 2019

While We Wait, Round 2: February 2019 (Month #1)

As we waited to adopt Zelie, we enjoyed writing up little monthly "happenings". It helped to pass the time and keep us focused on the good things in our lives without getting too anxious about when we would be matched with a child.

So we're going to do the same thing as we are now officially waiting for baby #2! We were approved very late in January, so February was our first full month as a waiting family.

Adoption news: Really nothing to report. No calls or situations. Just waiting! And also being happy to be DONE with paperwork for the foreseeable future. One neat thing is that we've been able to connect with a few people in our lives who are interested in adoption or have started the process, to give them some of our insight and experience. We are far from knowing everything about adoption, but we do know a little! And we are always happy to share.

Other stuff we did:

Dan kept busy! He ran two weekend-long retreats for adult children of divorce, one in Florida and one here in DC, and one day-long family retreat day here in DC. He loves being able to minister to people in this way, but it is tiring, too.

During one of the weekends when Dan was working, I (Bethany) met up with my parents in Baltimore to attend a children's concert at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, called Music Box. It was really fun! Zelie may have paid attention at a smattering of moments....but hopefully the lovely music (wind quintet) still touched her soul in some way. Then we had a delicious lunch of crepes and a fun walk through the city where Zelie wanted to touch everything, wave to every bus, and climb up and down every possible set of stairs. #toddlerlife

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I started a quilt for baby #2! (Finally - I got the fabric a few months ago, but toddler + sharp cutting tool + lots of tiny pieces of fabric is not a great combination.) I'm really excited about this quilt. It has the same color scheme as Zelie's quilt (royal blue, gold, and white - a.k.a. our wedding colors) but is a different design. I'm using the old pattern of "Log Cabin," arranged in a way that the finished quilt will look like a series of crosses. (Non-quilters will just have to trust that this will actually happen.)

***We got matched with Zelie DAYS after I finished her quilt, so I better get a move on with this one! (haha)

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For Valentine's Day, we had a low-key evening at home with a yummy meal, movie and drinks. Earlier in the day Zelie and I attended our parish's kids Valentine's party, which was a riot (figuratively and at times literally). Each kid brought valentines to pass out, and they made bags to collect them in. Zelie was pretty tickled at the valentines she got, especially the ones with dogs on them. Oh, and she loved the candy too. It was fun, and an example of our wonderful community here!

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She is squirming and wants to go back to the playground :)
For a date, Dan and I went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is on the National Mall. It was an amazing, moving, and very sobering experience. Lots of things to pray about (and weep about) but also to celebrate from this rich culture that brings so much to America. We definitely recommend it for locals and tourists!

That's about it - thanks for reading! And please keep praying for us and for expectant moms and dads considering making an adoption plan.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

In the Waiting Pool & "Live"!

We last checked in in mid-October, when we were making good progress on our home study. Since that time, we're happy to say that we completed the home study and are now officially in the waiting pool once more!

After we turned in all our paperwork in October, we met with our social worker two times in November and once in December, all at our house. As happened before, one of the meetings was us split up talking with her, and the other two were us together (and Zelie, too). As expected, all the meetings went really well. We really like our social worker and it was exciting to update her on the changes in our family since adopting Zelie, and to look ahead at our hopeful second adoption.

After those meetings were done, we had to wait for our social worker to write up her official report. We received a copy shortly after Christmas, had just one minor factual edit, and then it was approved by Barker on January 4, 2019 (Bethany's confirmation saint day - Elizabeth Ann Seton). At that point we were officially approved to adopt, whenever a situation comes together and a match happens!

But we had a few more things to do to officially get into the waiting pool with Open Door down in Georgia. They had already contacted all six of their required references. Our home study and supporting documentation had to be sent from Barker to Open Door, we had to sign some commitment forms with them, and we had to fill out a form about what parameters (age, race, medical background and so on) we were open to - similar to what we did as part of our home study. We mailed all of our forms off in mid-January, and received word on January 23rd that Open Door had everything they needed from us, so we were officially in the waiting pool.

We will be setting up an online profile on Open Door's websites, and whenever they are working with an expectant mom who is looking for a family like ours, our book will be shown. We won't be notified about that unless there are some "gray area" situations that we wanted to have more information about prior to showing our book.

We are so excited to be at this stage!! We pray every day for our future son or daughter, and for the men and women who are in difficult situations and figuring out what to do. We trust that this is all in God's hands! Please pray for us!