Saturday, February 23, 2008

Update on Process

I have sent this blog to our friends and family as a way to keep everyone updated on where we are in the adoption process. So this will be a short post to do just that. Don't worry, I'm sure something crazy and funny will happen to us any day now for me to get back to regularly bloggy programing.

We had our first home study visit at our agencies office. It was very laid back and informative. Our social worker just basically got to know us as a couple and learn a little about what led us to adoption. I told her I was adopted, so that brought up lots of questions. Which was fine with me because I never mind talking about it.

Jamie and I finished our self-studies. Whoo. Hoo. I feel like as far as the paper work goes this was the most indepth, intense part. So it is sort of a relief to have that behind us.

I have started going through the rest of the paper work this week and am making good progress. I would say "we" are going through it, but that would be a bold face lie. I just hand Jamie the papers he needs to sign. This has proved to be very successful. Who knows what kind of document I could slip in there. He could sign away his whole fortune to me. If he had a fortune. And then if he did, I would probably have already tapped in to that anyway.

I have started working on our profile. I have to say that I am really enjoying it. It helps that I have a little bit of a design background and own a stationery company. I feel like it might be an unfair advantage.

We are continuing to pray for our future child and his/her mother.

And I realized yesterday an amazing truth. I was driving home and it hit me that our circumstances have not changed over the last 4 years. We are still childless. But I realized how much my heart has been changed. I realized that God loves me so much that he has allowed us to go through this trial to show us that He is all we need. It was a little overwhelming to be honest. I broke down and was a blubbering mess. Thank goodness my eyes get puffy when I cry, we only had to meet friends as soon as I got home. I'm sure no one noticed my red, swollen lips and dried snot on my nose. How do you explain..."I'm not crying because I'm upset"? Well good thing they didn't ask. I'm sure they would have thought I was losing it.

This whole thing is starting to become more real. It's a little bit amazing that God chose us to be a part of it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Today we begin the journey to meet the child God has for us...

As I'm sitting here this morning finishing reading the book of James, it hit me that I can't remember the last time I cried due to infertility.

James 1:2-3 says to "Consider it pure Joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance..."

Have I persevered? Am I on the other side of this suffering?

As I reflect on this, I think my answer is yes! I can't remember the last time I cried. I can't remember the last time I wished I could go look at maternity clothes. I can't remember the last time I got mad when I got my monthly visitor.

I am ok! I think that I have learned to let go. Let go of the idea of having a biological child. More importantly, I think God has shown me that His way is best.

I can't wait to add a baby to our family through adoption. I love children and always have. I thought that not being able to have them would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me. But you know what? It's not.

Through this experience God has taught me so much about himself and myself. For the first time in my life, I began to understand how sinful I am and why I truly needed God to save me. Before, I went to church on Sundays and prayed sometimes when I needed something. I had no understanding of God's glory, grace, and forgiveness. I knew the bible stories and the Sunday school answers. I had asked God into my heart because I didn't want to go to hell. But I had little understanding of making him Lord of my life.

But now? Well now I realize that I am needy. I need a savior. I am sinful. My goal in life is to bring glory to God by my every attitude and action. Not just on Sundays, but day by day, minute by minute. God is my creator, the creator of this universe. He gives me my very breath. Why wouldn't I want to live under His hand, under His control, under His guidance everyday? Obviously He knows more than me!

You see, He knows the whole story and I know the now. He's had my days numbered and my life planned even before I was conceived. He is the one who has led us to this place in our lives. He is the one who is leading us to our child. Whatever avenue our children come to us from, they were designed by the Father to be raised by our family for His purpose.

We don't know what this adoption journey will be like. We can't say for sure that everything will run smoothly (but we are the Autry's so there are sure to be bumps!). But we do know that God is in control and that is all we need to know.

I can't remember the last time I cried. My heart is full of peace and a new kind of joy. It doesn't matter what this life brings, what matters is my response to the One that brings it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (even mohawks.)"*I added that part in*
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I am very thankful today. I'm thankful most days, but today I am exceptionally thankful. The reason is because I get to share my life with someone who lives out this scripture everyday.

I can never find or use the right words to describe my husband. But those who know him, know what I mean. His love for me is never questionable. His devotion is unwaivering. His gentle spirit is like none other. He is funny and easy going. He is all man but has a sensitive side that he is never afraid to show. He always places my needs before his own. Always. He makes me strive to be better just seeing the way he lives. He loves people genuinly. He is a giver. And even if he does have a mohawk, it makes me love him even more because he is uniquely Jamie.

He is my love. Even when he doesn't pick up his socks. Or cuts his hair into a mohawk. Or shaves his head with dog clippers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Tribute of Sorts

Jamie's hair.

It is a topic of much discussion in our home. When I first met him, his hair was the same length as mine. He grew it out real long in college because he said..."The chicks dig it".

This is Jamie in college with Jill (his sister) at her graduation.

We call this the "feathered" look. He used gel to feather the sides back. Classic 90's.

At this point in his life I don't want to say that he was "ignorant" because that seems very harsh, but his mother did offer him $500 to cut his hair and he declined. Call that what you like.

This is Jamie and me on his graduation day from college. We've gone a little shorter. And yes, I know I used to be way cute in college. Thanks for noticing.

This is shortly after Jamie decided to finally go short. Now...doesn't that look great?! (That's Braden in the this is about 7 years ago).

This was after we were married. We were in my friend Adrienne's wedding. Shortly before this day, I came home to find Jamie with his head shaved. He used a very savy new haircutting device known as dog clippers. Ladies...he's all mine.

This is this summer, he decided he would start letting it grow out again. I actually really like it this length.

This is after Christmas. It's starting to get a little out of control.
I have been encouraging Jamie for a few months now to please get his hair cut. Today was the day. And this is what he just emailed me...

It should grow back right? He thinks it is very funny and I think he is trying to give me a heart attack. The reason I wanted him to get his haircut this week is because we have a Valentines Gala this Saturday night.

Good thing we'll look real classy. Nothing says class like a "classic" mohawk.

I have tried to convince Jamie that he is in fact not in a rock band and mohawk doesn't exactly scream..."Yes, we are great role models, please give us a baby" or "Hi, nice to meet you, let me build you a baseball field". Not that I have anything against mohawks, but I believe you have to have a certain personality. Or a lot of tatoos. And not wear polo golf shirts and shop at Old Navy. But maybe that's just me.

Looks like we might break out the dog clippers again...

Our Washing Machine Timeline (not quit as exciting as the adoption timeline, but still)

We, here at the Autry frontier, have washing machine problems. I would say the main problem is that we don't want to drop the money to buy a brand new one. That problem would be called frugal. Or, in our case, poor. Washing machines ain't cheap these days.

So in an atempt to get my readers updated on this ever important, life pressing issue, I have decided to construct a timeline. Really, I just need people to pitttty me. And I do include additional "t's" to really point out the fact that I need a lot of pitttty.

May 2007:
Spin cyle on our 15 year old hand me down washing machine goes out. Husband is out of town all summer (ok, that's a little dramatic, but he was gone a lot).

May 2007 - November 2007:
Wring dripping wet clothes out before putting them in the dryer. Every time I washed. Every. Single. Time

May 2007-November 2007:
Develop red "raw" spots on the insides of my thumbs after wringing out towels. Every. Single. Time.

October 2007:
Dryer starts to work inconsistently due to the over working of the machine because of the dripping wet clothes.

November 2007:
A "new to us" washer and dryer was graciously given to us by a couple in Clarksville who had purchased a new set. I hook those babies up and can't wash clothes fast enough. The spin cylce works! Clothes are not dripping! I don't have to wring them out! All is well in the land of laundry.

February 2008:
Spin cyle on new washer breaks. Seriously.
Determined to not wring out clothes again, we call the repair man because the washer is fairly new.
$122 later, it is now in working condition.

We just hope it stays that way.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Yet Another Tornado

You know it's not going to be a fun night when the weather man comes on and says there is a chance for severe weather. Here in west TN we are all too familiar with severe storms. I feel like we are "tornado shy". Living in this area and hearing those words provokes in most a sense of anxiety. Maybe not fear per say, but a definate alertness and awareness to be on guard. The storm shelter industry is a booming business. And I have to say our storm shelter was one of the best purchases we have ever made. The peace of mind is worth every single penny.

I can not imagine how the students at Union University felt as the tornado was tearing apart their dorms. Seeing the images of that campus hits home the point that tornados are not to be taken lightly. They are real and they are dangerous.

But in the middle of all the rubble, all the mess, all the disaster, I stand in awe that not a single life was lost on that campus. There were no storm shelters to run to, no underground basements. These college kids got in their bathrooms and prayed that God would spare them while listening to the roof of their dorms being torn off.

God's protective hand was on that campus last night. While there are injuries and lots of loss of belongings, every life was protected. After seeing all the damage, all we can do is stand in amazement and sing praise to our Father because we truly witnessed a miracle.

Please be in prayer for Union. For the misplaced students, the faculty and staff, and the parents whom I'm sure are weary. I know that much will be needed in the upcoming days and weeks as far as clean up goes. We also need to pray for the leadership of that university in making decisions for the rest of the semester.

"The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever." -Psalm 121:5-8

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Obviously our goals in life are different...

I mentioned in the last post that we are starting to work on our self studies. This is an 11 page packet of questions. Questions about our personality, goals, marriage, upbringing, the way we view discipline, and how we feel about biracial adoption. I've only gotten through the first five questions. Jamie has not started. But after much nagging, I mean gentle encouragement, from me we did start discussing this last night.

One of the questions asks you to list personal goals for yourself and your family. This was a difficult question for me to answer. I think I came up with something profound like..."Our ultimate goal as a family is always to be God honoring and bring glory to Him through everything that we do. All of our other goals are null and void if this is not our first priority."

That's good right?!

Yeah, I thought so too.

So after asking Jamie about his goals, this is what he had to say...

"I love to fish, so one of my personal goals has always been to catch a big one."

I'm afraid we're never going to get a baby.