Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

I just watched the ball drop and kissed the hubby.  I know that it is just another day, but I feel relieved that 2012 is finally over!  This time last year I was recovering after my post miscarriage surgery.  At the time I thought the worst was behind me, boy was I wrong.

2012 brought with it massive grieving and heartache.  Not only did we loose our son, but I then watched helplessly as friends delivered their twin sons at 20 weeks, and another pair of friends loose their 4 day old daughter.  Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse a college friend died by suicide, and too many friends suffered miscarriages.  Not to mention the heartbreaking stories I hear coming out of the DR Congo.

I started the year last year praying that God would "break my heart for what breaks yours."  Be careful what you ask for!  Never did I imagine that I would have the experiences that I had or grown in the ways that I have grown-mostly in compassion for other grieving moms.  If I had the choice I would have picked to NOT grow in those ways, but God had other plans.  I must remember that His ways are not my ways, His thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and He has plans not to hurt me but to give me hope and a future!  Those things are hard to believe in the midst of heartbreak-- and I have truly physically felt my heart break lately.

As I start it or not, my prayer is the similar: "break my heart until it moves my hands and feet."  This is the year of doing...of going...I know that as I travel to the DRC (hopefully this year!) to bring home our child(ren) that the things I see there will break my heart.  The only thing I can say is bring it on!  Living in this world is not an easy thing to do, especially for those less fortunate than us.  I just hope I can bring some comfort to those precious Congo babies I see on my computer screen.

If all goes well we will actually have some activity on the adoption front.  Sometime in January we will be starting our home study!

Here a poem that Adam gave me for Christmas along with a star named after Isaiah David.  I do not know the author, sorry!

Daddy, please don't look so sad, Mama please don't cry-'Cause I am in the arms of Jesus and He sings me lullabies.
Please, try not to question God, don't think he is unkind, don't think he sent me to you, and then he changed his mind.
You see, I am a special child, and I'm needed up above, I;m the special gift you gave Him, the product of your love.
I'll always be there with you, and watch the sky at night, find the brightest star that's gleaming, that's my halo's brilliant light.
You'll see me in the morning frost, that mists your window pane, that's me in the summer showers, I'll be dancing in the rain.
When you feel a little breeze, from a gentle wind that blows, that's me, I'll be there planting a kiss on your nose.
When you see a child playing and your heart feels a little tug, that's me, I'll be there, giving your heart a hug.
So Daddy, please don't look so sad, Mama don't you cry, I'm in the arms of Jesus, and he sings me lullabies.

Lastly, another angel mamma told me "We can't pick and choose what comes from God and what doesn't.  No matter if we think it was 'good' or 'bad' God gave us the experience for a reason."

Rest in Peace Isaiah, Josie, Charlie, Nate, Lillian, Ryan, Francis, Aniahya, & all of the other babies gone too soon.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December update

It has been a while since I've posted anything.  Here is a recap of what we've been up to the last month....

Thanksgiving at my parents, Thanksgiving at Adams Parents, Thanksgiving at our house with Adams Nanny and Dad.  Adam helped his parents move in to a new house the day before Thanksgiving and they generously donated lots of furniture for our Spring yard sale fundraiser.  I cleaned out the basement to make room for donations, but somehow all of their furniture is still piled to the ceiling in our dining room. Funny how that happens :)

We celebrated my 28th birthday. Yikes! Only two more years til the big 3-0.  Did I mention that my ten year high school reunion is next year? Double Yikes!

We put up the Christmas decorations, got all of our shopping done (which wasn't really a challenge since we are only buying for Reagan this year) and will be stuffing 242 Christmas letters tomorrow.

Did I mention Reagan had a stomach bug for a week?  I am still behind on laundry from the bug, and somehow I'm behind on dishes too.  The doctor wants us to keep her off of dairy for a couple weeks just to make sure she hasn't developed an allergy.

Adam has officially started Seminary so please pray that God will use the next three years to reveal himself to Adam and His plan for our lives. Also please pray for my sanity and that I will adjust to Adam being even busier than usual.

Reagan spent the night at Memaw and Grandpa Larry's house last night so Adam and I could clean the house (still working on that), and give all three dogs a bath- actually, a shower.  Then of course we had to clean the bathroom.

Enough playing catch up, lets talk about the adoption!  We have ended our online shopping fundraiser.  I've yet to find out how we did, but will update as soon as I know.  We will continue to sell Just Love Coffee throughout 2013 so feel free to look at our online storefront.  I have had reports from people who have received their coffee that it was "surprisingly good."

I've had a couple of people ask if they can donate money to our adoption account so I have added a Paypal button on the right side.  We will be selling t shirts and having some local fundraisers throughout the winter.  In the spring we will be having a yard sale.  If you have any items you would like to donate to our yard sale let me know (we'll be storing items in our basement).

We have opted to start our home study before paying the initial agency fee.  This will help us keep moving along in the process instead of waiting to begin until we raise the money for agency fee.  After we complete the home study we will qualify for grants and various fundraising opportunities.  We feel that this is the best option for us however, it will mean that our first and second agency fees will be due around the same time. Please pray that the home study is as pain free as possible.  It involves a lot of paperwork, finger printing, fire inspection, physicals, interviews with our social worker, and lots of other things I've yet to find out about.  It will take about 3-4 months to complete and we should be scheduling it to begin sometime in January.

Last of all I wanted to thank you all so much for your support and prayers.  We are so blessed to have family and friends who are excited for us and who are eager to go on this journey with us as we find our kids and bring them home.  I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes that keeps me going when things get rough.

"When He invites us to experience more and better life, He invites us from the perspective of a God who loves his life, the world he made, and invites us to experience life in all it's fullness. That doesn't mean though, that getting involved in God's life is always going to be's not. Getting involved in God's life will bring us fulfillment and inexpressible pleasure, but it also will involve risk, and pain, and sacrifice. How do we know this? We know this because God's life and God's experience with this world and humanity has involved great risk, and pain, and sacrifice. Yet at the end of the day he is still filled with great joy." -Terry A. Smith

Sunday, November 11, 2012


It is late and I am trying to avoid cleaning my kitchen, so I am sitting at the table thinking of the wonderful weekend I had....

On Friday Adam, Reagan, and I spent some time visiting Nanny (Adams grandmother) and Papaw Joe (Adams dad).  Then we went to the toy store and put Christmas on layaway, then went grocery shopping.  Miss Reagan decided to act up a bit (as two year old do) and got probably the biggest punishment she has ever received: no watching movies in the minivan ALL weekend. She is a little older now and we are trying to teach her concepts like respect, being thankful, consequences, and privileges.  This weekend she learned about all of them at once.  To be honest I am getting tired of the TV and she did fine without it, so we might be saving TV time as a special treat rather than an everyday thing in the near future.

Saturdays are traditionally our Sabbath and as such are family days.  This Saturday, however, Reagan and I left Daddy at home and took a road trip to my hometown to go to the baby shower of my BFF since 5th grade.  It was great to see her, her hubby, and all of her family that I haven't seen in a long time.  Our other BFF came all the way from Erie to join in on the fun, so we had a reunion.  It was great to see two of my favorite ladies in the world!  I have a hand full of close friends that have spread out all over the country so it does my heart good to get to spend some quality time with them. That night we spent the night at my parents house and had a great time.

This morning Reagan and I went from my parents house to Adams parents house to pick up some furniture they are letting us sell to raise money for the adoption.  We missed Adam leading worship at church, but it was great for Reagan to see so many of her grandparents and one uncle in one weekend.  When we got home Adam and Reagan let me nap on the couch while they went to Target.  Reagan had the idea to "buy mommy flowers" while they were there so they stopped by the florist and brought me home a dozen peach roses complete with a card that Reagan signed! So precious!  Then we ate pizza and had our first family game night.  We played Memory, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Don't Break the Ice.  We had so much fun I think we are going to do it every Sunday!  We ended the night by giving Reagan a post candy cane bath and watching some TV.  

Now Reagan and Adam are asleep upstairs and I'm surrounded my our menagerie of sleeping pets.  Like I said, I am at the kitchen table trying to avoid doing the dishes.  The family budget and board games are all over the table and there is laundry in the washer waiting to be dried, but I am content to sit her and reflect on our many blessings.  I can't wait until we have two more kiddos to add to the mix. I know that quiet time like this will be even rarer then, but I will have even more to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Isaiah's Day

     One year ago today we conceived our son Isaiah.  We decided since the time wasn't right to adopt that we would have another biological child.  We were overjoyed when we conceived on the first try!  We did not know at the time that we would never meet him.

     The week before Christmas 2011 I started spotting and was put on progesterone.  I remember pleading with God to let him stay with us, and pleading with Isaiah not to leave.  We found out on December 29th that his heart had stopped beating. I was and still am utterly heartbroken.  I miss him so much.  I didn't think that these things happened to people like me.  I didn't understand why God would allow that to happen.  I asked God for a name and he laid on my heart "Isaiah David"  meaning "God is salvation, beloved."

     I woke up on New Years Eve after surgery with such amazing peace.  I had dreamed that my Aunt was holding him and taking care of him.  She had wanted more children but wasn't able to have more while she was here on Earth. As time went on my peace and understanding turned to hurt and anger as I watched many of my friends miscarry, one set of good friends loose their newborn baby, and another friend die by suicide.   

     I struggled to find the meaning in all of this.  I believed that God wanted what was best for me and my family.  How could this possibly be part of his plan?  Then I had a realization...I know that this may offend some people and I by no means am trying to do that, this is what God has laid on my heart for my situation...."How can I parent an orphan without experiencing the loss of a child?"  Certainly you can parent an orphan without knowing the loss of a child, but I know that somehow, someday, God will use this experience to help us be the best parents we can be for the adopted children he has chosen for us.

     This past year has been a huge lesson in wanting and accepting Gods will for you life even when it is not what you desire for your life.  I know that I will meet Isaiah one day and what a joyous day that will be!  Until then we can use that loss to teach our adopted children that they will see their biological families again one day.  I pray that will give them comfort.

I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. -Matthew 18:18

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just Love Coffee fundraiser

We are selling Just Love Coffee to help raise money for our adoption.  We receive $5 of every $13 bag of coffee. They have many different options and some great sample packs that would make awesome Christmas presents! Check out the link to purchase.

Share our blog with a friend and you could both win $10

We are in the process of putting together an online fundraiser starting on November 11th. In order to get as many people to view our blog for the online fundraiser we will be giving away two $10 Visa gift cards   All you have to do is tell a friend about our page.  Then have the friend you told leave a comment on THIS blog post with their name and the name of the person who told them about our blog AND "like" Leigh Family Adoption on Facebook.  On November 11th we will randomly pick one of the comments and both friends will receive a $10 Visa gift card.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

God will provide!

     Last night I was reading the popular book Adopt Without Debt.  The author, Julie, gave the following quote from Dave Ramsey...

"There is not one example in the Bible of God calling someone to do something and then using debt as a tool to accomplish it!"

    Whew! What a huge weight off my shoulders!  Ever since we got the initial acceptance I've been fretting over ways to come up with the first agency payment and the fee for the home study. Not to mention the sticker shock that our adoption will end up totaling. I always knew that God would provide us with the funds, but I didn't really believe it until I read that last night. 

     Mark Batterson says in his book The Circle Maker to thank God BEFORE He does a miracle. I've been thanking Him for providing for our future adoption for a while now and we've already seen funds showing up.  Adam stumbled across a small retirement account from a job he had a few years ago.  We cashed it out and will get a few hundred dollars soon. I threw together a garage sale and made a couple hundred.  I've had some extra kids to babysit.  I even was handed a fifty dollar bill today! 

     Adam and I decided that it is time for me to take over the finances.  I am really looking forward to it because I'm going to be 28 this year and have never had to pay a bill.  I've always had apartments in my roommate's name, so I just paid them. Adam and I got married after my junior year of college so he has always been the one to pay the bills.  I've been wanting to do this for a number of years now but never felt confident because we've had such huge financial hardship and I didn't think I could handle it.

     We've been through Adams two year unemployment, my astronomical medical bills, the closing of our small business, and student loans that are more than our mortgage.  Through it all we have been seriously blessed by friends, family, and strangers which kept our heads above water. But, little by little we are coming out of it.  We paid off our credit card debt last year.  Adam found a full time job and a part time job.  I quit my job to be a stay at home mom and am making more money now by babysitting then I did when I was working.  All of this means that we are heading in the right direction.

     As I sat down tonight to look over our bills I was thrilled to see that we are in the black and not the red!  Adam and I combined work between 100-110 hours a week and we feel so blessed to be able to do so!  I guess that is what long term unemployment does to you ;)  

     Did I mention that Adam starts full time seminary this winter?  Yikes!  We've got a lot on our plate right now but I've never been more excited to see what God has waiting for us just around the corner. 

God’s wisdom is so deep, God’s power so immense, who could take him on and come out in one piece? He movemountains before they know what’s happened, flips them on their heads on a whim. He gives the earth a good shaking up, rocks it down to its very foundations. He tells the sun, ‘Don’t shine,’ and it doesn’t; he pulls the blinds on the stars. All by himself he stretches out the heavens and strides on the waves of the sea. He designed the Big Dipper and Orion, the Pleiades and Alpha Centauri. We’ll never comprehend all the great things he does; his miracle-surprises can’t be counted. Somehow, though he moves right in front of me, I don’t see him; quietly but surely he’s active, and I miss it. -Job

"Go build that business. Go finish that degree. Go work on you marriage. Whatever it is - Go get to work! But don't forget that God is going to be working harder then you are to bring whatever it is He dreamed for your life to pass." -Terry A. Smith

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Are we there yet?

     I am getting so tired of waiting to bring our child(ren) home!  I recently heard (ok, read) another adoptive mom say that a movie will never be made about adopting internationally because 90% of the movie would just be parents waiting! (Did I mention that this is literally the first day of our adoption?)

Let me give you some back story....

-1991 (?) : Met and briefly played with an adopted child of friends of my parents.
-1997 (?) : My Sunday School teacher adopted a little girl from China
- August 12, 2006: Married my college sweetheart (Adam) and immediately felt the call to adopt.
Found out that we had to be married for 1 year before starting the China adoption process.
- 2007: Found out that we didn't qualify to adopt from China due to Adam and I having Anxiety Disorders.  Decided to adopt from Ethiopia at some point in the future.
Named our first four children  ;)
-June 25, 2010: Our daughter was born! Start/continue to nag Adam about adopting :)
-August 12, 2011: Adam tells me he is ready to start the adoption process!
-September 2011: Get declined on a pre-application to adopt.
-September 2011: God tells me that our adopted baby has already been conceived!
Freak out, freak out, freak out.
-September 2011: God tells me (a week later) that "It is not time."
-October 2011: Get declined on a pre-application to adopt again. Decide to have another biological baby.
-November 4, 2011: Get pregnant on the first try (woo-hoo!)
-December 29, 2011: Find out that our son Isaiah's heart stopped beating and that he was very small.
-February-July 2012: Try to get pregnant again.
-July 2012: Adam inadvertently stumbles across an adoption agency.
-August 3, 2012: Meet with the agency.  It feel like a God given match!
-September 28, 2012: Get declined to adopt from Ethiopia due to our Anxiety Disorders (recent policy change).  Cut ties with the agency for leading us on then declining us after they had our money.
-October 2012: Decide to adopt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  God verifies our adopted daughters first and middle name on two separate occasions.
-October 10, 2012: Receive refund check from first agency.
-October 24, 2012: Get approved by our new agency!

     Getting approved from our agency is not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it feels huge for us after being turned down three other times!  There are many more approvals ahead of us, but the good news is that we feel like now is the right time to adopt. Finally!  I just can't wait to have my children in my arms.

     Adam and I have wanted to adopt for 6 years now.  We have had a lot of ups and downs both in bringing our adopted children home and in bringing our biological children into this world.  Through every triumph and every trial God has taught us amazing things!  He has used missed opportunities to guide us to the right opportunity. He has used death to bring life.

     I will wait for the Lord, who has hidden his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in God.- Isaiah 8:17