Big week!

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This week has been pretty exciting for us. Because of this I have forgotten to blog about the excitement. 

On Tuesday, we received the fee schedule for Open Door. This tells us when we have to pay what. On our fee schedule, we found out we received a 3000 dollar scholarship from the agency. We are so blessed by this! We don’t know why or how we received the scholarship, BUT we will take it! 🙂 

I forgot to tell you all of this because of what came next this week. We found out that Ken got a new job! He is now the electronic and online banking consultant for Farmers and Merchant’s bank. He is excited and so am I. He was sad to leave Synovus after almost ten years with them and some great relationships, but we both felt that this change was the best for our family. Also, he has a gap between leaving his job at Commercial and beginning his job at FMB, so now we have the last week of my summer vacation to spend together! We are also going to the beach next weekend with some great friends to celebrate the end of summer and Ken’s new job. We can’t wait. 

I wanted to share all of the big news of the Hayes household with you all! Also, I am asking you to pray for us. We still haven’t received our lifebooks back from our other agency. This is stressing me out and making me sad since we have to order new ones for our new agency. Please pray that either a. we will get our books back or b. I won’t be so stressed about not getting them back. 🙂 

The story of us.

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Today’s post has nothing to do with the adoption of our baby. Today’s post has everything to do with the adoption of our baby. 

Five years ago today: I had just met this guy named Ken. We were all out for trivia and we just happened to start talking. He asked for my phone number and we “talked”(texted) everyday after that. Since we have met, we have not gone one single day without talking. We hadn’t even been on our first date yet!

Four years ago today: The best day of my life so far. I remember waking up early. My eyes just popped open and wouldn’t close again. At 5:00 in the evening on July 10th, 2010, we were married. We were also lucky enough to be surrounded by our closest friends and family on that day. It was just the most beautiful wedding leading into a beautiful marriage. 

Three years ago today: We were heading to Mexico Beach, which is one of our favorite places, to celebrate our one year anniversary. It had been a tough year. Both of us being only children, we had to readjust our whole lives and ways of thinking because now we had to think about someone besides ourselves. I remember that being hard, hard, hard to do. But on that day, July 10th, 2011, exactly one year after our wedding, we had a blast together laying by the pool and on the beach.

Two years ago today: We were on a cruise celebrating not only our anniversary but life as well. Life was in a good spot for us. Ken had just gotten a promotion at work. We had put our small house on the market and were looking for a bigger house to get ready for baby. We had decided to start trying to have said baby. Life was good. 

One year ago today: We were now in our bigger house. (We hope to stay in this house until we die, partly because it’s an awesome house, partly because we never want to move again.) We are ready to start our family. We have been trying to have a baby for a year with no luck. We were both pretty disappointed by this. Because of this, both of us had retreated into ourselves. Again, the only child thing came into play. We didn’t share our problems with each other. We each tried to handle it on our own. It was hard. There were days we went without speaking to each other. Not because we were mad at each other, just because we were mad with life I think. (I am speaking mainly for myself, because I can’t speak for Ken all of the time.) It was hard. On our anniversary though, we went to Tallahassee to our favorite sushi spot, went to Target(LOVE!) and had froyo. Just because we felt like our life was not going the right way, didn’t mean our anniversary had to be the same. We had fun that day. 

Today: We have plans to celebrate. Nothing big, nothing elaborate, just eating out and cupcakes. However, no matter the plans we have, we will celebrate because today is a big day. Today is the day that our lives changed forever. 

Around the time that we were engaged and planning our wedding, there was a popular song out by Brad Paisley, “I thought I loved you then.” The lyrics basically say that through every stage in a relationship you love more and more even though you didn’t think it was possible to love more than you did in the stage before.

“I remember taking you back
To right where I first met you
You were so suprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care
I got down on one knee right there
And once again
I thought I loved you then” 

When I first heard this song, I thought to myself, that’s sweet, but I don’t believe it. I don’t believe that I will ever love Ken more than I do right now. Oh, I was so, so, so wrong. Every day since the day we got married I have loved Ken more. On the days where we are traveling or laughing or going out to eat or staying in and watching movies and eating Little Caesar’s, I love him more. On the days where we don’t say one word to each other or when we are yelling and screaming at each other, or the days when feelings are hurt and words are misconstrued, I love him more. Through these past six months and the stages of adoption, I have loved him more and more. The man that I met five years ago evolves everyday and it amazes me. I hope we never stop growing and never stop loving. I love you, Ken. 

Celebration time!

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Last night was a really big night in the Hayes house. WE GOT TO GO TO BARBERITO’S. Barberito’s is my favorite place in the whole entire world. When I have a bad day, Ken asks if I want to go to Barb’s. When we have had a good day, we go to Barb’s. We used to eat at Barberito’s every Sunday night before Ken left to go back to Leesburg when we were dating. It’s just our place. (Along with Waffle House. 🙂 ) 

Last night, the Barberitos trip was extra special though. We have finished our part of the adoption. Last night was the last homestudy visit with our caseworker. We have had a series of three visits where we got to sit with Sandy, our Caseworker and answer questions about ourselves and our families along with how we plan to raise our child. These sessions have actually been fun, getting to know each other better and Sandy of course too! But, we were glad to be done, because now we are done with what we have to do for the adoption. (Minus the payments!) 

Now, our WONDERFUL caseworker, Sandy will start writing our homestudy, it will be processed and then, we will be placed in the “active pool.” This means that we will be ready to be matched with our birth mother and then will get our baby about two or three months after being matched. We can’t WAIT to see the rest of this journey through. We are praying consistently for our birthmother, our baby, and for ourselves. Even though we are done with the work that we have to do, the waiting could be the hardest part. If you will, please pray for our patience. (Especially mine!) I have been really good so far, but please pray that I will stay confident and know that God is faithful and WILL bring this baby to us. Thank you ALL for your support these past months. We wouldn’t have made it this far without. 

Birds of a feather.

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When talking to our agency on Wednesday, one thing that we would have to do(not necessarily before we are matched with a child) is to go to a training session. These sessions are held on a Friday and ALL adopting parents are required to attend. The meeting is all about adoption(of course!) but it’s also about how to take care of a newborn and ways to talk about adoption with your child.

The more I think about this session, the more excited I am to go to it. One reason I think it will be good to go to is Ken and I(ESPECIALLY Ken) really know nothing about newborns. I mean what are you supposed to do with them when they won’t stop crying? How are they supposed to sleep, on their stomachs or backs? So. Many. Questions. Hopefully, this meeting will give us some information that will be useful to us so we won’t totally just mess things up. I was explaining to a friend today that if our baby comes quickly, I don’t know if I will be ready. I mean pregnant women get a constant reminder of how their lives are about to completely change forever and ever, but when I look down at my stomach I see no reminder. I mean, it could be that one day I am going about my day, working out, eating ice cream and such, and the next day I could be meeting my baby. I mean, really. Crazy. Hopefully, this meeting will make sure I remember that I will soon be responsible for another person. 🙂

Another reason I am excited about this meeting, which is probably happening in October, is there will also be about 6 or 7 other adoptive couples there with us, learning the same things. This is awesome to me, because these people are going through the exact same thing we are going through. They might not be anything like us, but they are in the same boat. They get it. The other night at my bible study, all of the girls were sharing their sweet(slightly terrifying) birth stories. I began to realize that the majority of my really good friends have children(One is due in October. YAY!) They have all had that experience, and as close as some of them and I are, we will never be able to talk about the craziness that goes along with both of our experiences. I probably won’t ever be able to sympathize with someone who was in labor for 18 hours but then forgot about all of the pain of childbirth as their child was put into their arms. I probably won’t ever have to make the choice of a natural childbirth or having an epidural. (BTW, I am pro-meds.) My friends, that I am able to talk to about ANYTHING(for the most part, I am still a private person. 🙂 ) will probably never be able to sympathize with agency fees, or agency closings, or all of the crazy paperwork that goes along with an adoption, or those ten nervewracking days after the baby is born where the birth mother has the chance to change her mind. My friends, most likely, will never understand those emotions and feelings. That’s not to say that these friends haven’t been GREAT with me, listening and trying to understand and most importantly PRAYING for me, but they all have their own birth stories. When we go to this meeting in the fall, we will be with people that understand the feelings that we have been feeling. They will probably feel them just as deeply or deeper than Ken and me. This will be encouraging to my soul. What a day!

A burden lifted.

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Today has been a very good day. Last week, I shared with you about our agency closing and how we were looking into going with our hometown agency. We finally were able to get in to see the woman who is in charge of the agency. Wow, it was so great explaining our struggles to her, just to be reassured that everything will work out. We talked with Mrs. Jane for about an hour as she explained her agency and we asked questions. Long story short, we DON’T have to start all over. Since our homestudy was already being done through their agency, we have technically already applied to the agency. Now, as soon as our homestudy is processed, we will be in the “active pool”, where birthmoms can pick us to be the parents to their baby. Both Ken and I were as relieved as we could be. As far as the fee we have lost, lawyers are now being involved and fees MIGHT be returned to us according the other agency. However, we are not going to sit around and wait on these fees before moving forward. It seems, after hearing a few horror stories, that we could have been out a LOT more than we were. We will pay 2500 dollars if God continues to bless our journey.

We also had our second homestudy tonight. It was more like an interview. Ken and I are very open and honest with each other, but these sessions cause us to be even more so. Tonight was focused on hard things in our marriage. Disagreements, communication, and such. We enjoyed the session, and we LOVE our caseworker Sandy. She also loves Tebow and Chloe which helps. 🙂 Next week is our third visit. After that, we will be in the processing stage. Even after small bumps in the road, God is good!