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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The morning report...

Let me start by saying "thank you" once again. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for patiently tolerating my limited update last night. It may take my body a few days to catch up with myself, although I am already feeling a little more rested this morning.

Satan tried his best yesterday to dampen our spirits leading up to the last visit.

My head and neck began to throb at about 2 p.m., and for the next hour, I ran into road blocks every which way I turned in my search for caffeine to ease the pain just a little. No change in my purse, an out of order ATM, no stash in the car, dozens upon dozens of people in the check-out lines at the cafe... Where's a girl to turn?

After finally securing my needed fix, the day continued uneventfully until the time we were supposed to leave. We had taken a shorter lunch than usual so that we could leave a little early, but at 4:30, chaos ensued, and we didn't make it out the door until shortly before 5.

This is just NOT how things were supposed to go. The caseworkers were scheduled to be at our home right after 5. Now, WE were going to be late.

I should stop here, and praise God for the things He has taught me this last year which prepared me for yesterday and stomped out all of Satan's efforts...

My typical reaction to the way things were going would have been to get stressed, angry, and take it out in the form of sarcasm on my poor, unsuspecting husband. And while I must admit that I felt that way on the inside, I am glad to report that I didn't act that way (nearly as much as usual :-)) on the outside. While I am definitely not perfect in this area, He has been teaching me to rejoice always in the uncontrollable circumstances of life and to pray without ceasing throughout the day. Instead of dwelling on all of the "what ifs" and "whys," I have found myself turning those thoughts into petitions for help and guidance from the One who created and holds all things in His hands. Much more practical and effective, I think!

Back to the story...

We arrived home BEFORE the caseworkers got there, and had just enough time for the two of us to (please don't laugh or shake your head at my Type-A obsessions) quickly mop the living room floor. Then, I took the contacts out of my tired, red eyes, and clipped back the too-long bangs out of my face. Much more comfortable, I heard the doorbell and came downstairs just as DoubleT was welcoming our guests inside for the evening.

We started with a tour of our oh-so-clean house which is now ready for the movie night with our Sunday School class on Saturday night... BONUS! :-)

Home layout observed and fire extinguisher locations noted, we sat down in the living room to answer all of the rest of the questions needed to satisfy the state's home study requirements.

Here's just a sample of the variety of questions we were asked...

  • How many square feet are there in your house?
  • What is the value of your home?
  • What is the price range of homes in your neighborhood?
  • What is your philosophy of discipline?
  • How far from your house is the nearest elementary school?
  • What about the nearest playground?
  • ...the nearest hospital?
  • ...doctor's office?
  • Is there a diversity of age and race within the people in your neighborhood?
  • Describe the people in your neighborhood.
  • How many siblings do you have?
  • What are the names, ages, and breeds of your pets?
  • Under what circumstances are your pets kept in their crates? (they saw that we have crates for both dogs)
  • Are you planning to stay in this home for the next 5 years? (goodness gracious, I hope not - I might suffocate!!!)
There really are no right or wrong answers. I would describe it more as a fact-finding mission in an effort to summarize our life.

We finished up at almost 7 p.m. It was a pleasant evening, and I was encouraged by a few things that were said. The first? Our state's laws have changed, and a home study is now good for 3 years instead of just one. If we are not selected by a birth mother within the next year, the only thing we will have to update is our health forms. Praise God!!! The second? We definitely have enough room in our tiny townhouse for a baby or even for a toddler. That buys us TIME! So, we are going to postpone our plans to move for now and wait until life settles in and the housing market rebounds a little for sellers. In the meantime, we'll continue to focus on sorting through and clearing out more of our almost-12-years-of marriage junk accumulation. The home study gave us a great jump start on that and a brand new shredder to aid in the process! :-)

So, on we go... there are a few more pieces of information we need to gather and send to the caseworkers. They are also waiting for the background checks to come back from the state, and then they will work to compile everything, hopefully by the end of September.

Our next task is to complete the album and profile that birth mothers will view. We would ask that you continue to pray with and for us through this piece of the process.

Specifically, please pray that God would give us wisdom and direct us about what to include in the album and profile. Also, please begin to pray for the birth mothers. Not just the one who will choose us, but for all of the birth mothers. It is easy for me in my pride, selfishness, and the sometimes overwhelming nature of this process to ignore or forget the difficult position these girls are in. They love their babies and want the best for them. Please pray that God will give them discernment and peace in their decisions. Finally, please begin to pray for the young life that God will entrust to us. Whether or not this child has even been conceived, God already knows and has planned his or her future. Please pray for this child's growth, protection, and that God will continue to prepare us to parent him or her (Karis says her :-)) in a way that would bring glory to Him.

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

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