Guard your heart.

Standard

guard your heart

Over the past few weeks, my mind has been so completely consumed by the thought of my sweet baby boy. Once you find out the reality of it all, you automatically can’t help but start fantasizing and becoming excited about your baby. However, I was reminded today of a good lesson from our caseworker. She told me I should still always “guard my heart.” Such good advice that we hear from such an early age. But is it always that easy?

Since hearing about being matched, visions of baby boy clothes and sweet little baby sounds have entered my mind. It’s all I can think of, it’s all I can focus on. So, now, I’m reminded I have to guard my heart, because anything can happen. But my heart already belongs to this baby. Of course, I realize that if this baby is not meant to be mine, then he will not be. But that’s hard. I am just at a spot now where the excitement is overtaken by fear. I know, I shouldn’t worry, but pray about everything. Trust me, I am praying with all that I have. My heart is on the line here. I want everyone out there to know this so maybe y’all can pray for me too? Pray that my anxiety is calmed, my fears cease. Pray that the birthmother is at total peace with her decision. Pray that she will know that Ken and I will love her baby just as much as she does. Pray that my heart won’t be broken. I am guarding my heart, but excitement takes over and I want to go ahead and give my heart to my sweet baby. Pray that I know the fine line between guarding and loving.

PS. Sorry for my rambling, I am a little out of mind right now. 🙂

Advertisements

Rollercoaster.

Standard

hope

2014 has been a long, hard year. There have been so many ups and downs that have led us here. The beginning of this year, January 19th to be exact, we announced we were beginning this process. I divide my year into two different categories: hurting and loss, healing and learning. These two different categories are different, but they also go hand in hand.

First of all, hurting and loss. This year, I have lost two very important people in my life, my Grandma Floyd and my Papa. I have never experienced loss like I experienced with these deaths. I have never hurt like I did with these deaths. Along with this, I have experienced hurt/loss through tragedy that struck two very good friends’ families. These hit hard because unlike my grandparents’ deaths, these deaths were untimely, they didn’t seem fair. They hurt. I feel like over the past year, I have cried more than I ever have in my life. The hurt has been overwhelming at times.

However, during these past 11 months, when the hurt and loss have been so great, I also have experienced one of the greatest times of healing and learning as well. I truly believe that I have learned more over the past year than I ever have in my life. I have learned that there are things in life way more important than football. I have learned that sometimes blessings come disguised as hardships. I have learned that sometimes the blessing you may receive out of a tragedy is the fact that it knocks you to your knees and brings you closer to Him. I have learned that during times of hurting and loss, the only thing you have to cling to is your faith in an eternal, sovereign Lord that loves you more that you can ever imagine. I have learned that your hope can always be placed in Jesus. He isn’t going to let you down, no matter the feelings you are having here on Earth.

So, 2014 has definitely been an emotional rollercoaster. It’s funny/amazing to look back and see just exactly how God has been working through this year. Tonight, I am thankful that these experiences that I have gone through over the past year, the tragedies, the death, the hurting were not in vain. They were to gently remind me that His plans are always greater. They have also reminded me not to focus on my problems, look at His bigger picture.  Also, 2014 has reminded me that prayer works and that my God is always for me.

Having said that, Ward, you have a lot of people counting on you to finish this year out on a good note. We have had a lot of hurting and loss, healing and learning, but now, we have you to look forward to. We have you to focus on. Instead of this just being our first holiday season without loved ones, we now have you, a beacon of hope for us. (Hope this isn’t too much pressure!)

Whirlwind. (Ken’s thoughts)

Standard

I wanted to blog just to give my thoughts on these past five days as well in conjunction with Stacy’s. Firstly, I also would like to say thank you for all of the thoughts, the prayers, the support and constant showing of love that Stacy, myself and our future baby have received. It has been an almost out of body experience that we have had. We have laughed along the way, we have cried, we have been happy, we have been sad, but the entire time we had our faith in God that things would work out. It was and always will be sufficient.

This wasn’t the only happenings of these past five days. The reason why we were headed to Atlanta was to celebrate the marriage and joining of two wonderful people in Trey Balfour and Laura Fletcher. This was a wedding that Stacy and I had been so excited about for months. It was an absolutely wonderful event and we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. But, we almost did. As Stacy mentioned in her post, the birth mother wanted to meet with us on Saturday (How people don’t believe in God and that He moves at all times stupefies me). I felt a personal confliction. Clearly we had to go and do this meeting but we both wanted so badly to show our support for our friends. We were able to have a wonderful meeting in which all parties came away feeling pretty good, in my opinion. We were able to leave and get to the wedding in plenty of time to see the festivities. I think it did Stacy and I both a lot of good to clear our heads and just enjoy something that wasn’t adoption related for a few moments. Not that we aren’t happy or grateful of everything happening, but the roller coaster of emotion over the past few days has been very intense. I think I said all that to say this, Stacy, Ward and I all wish the best of luck to the Balfour’s. Marriage is tough. It is frustrating. It is not perfect. It is also, up until now, the greatest experience of my life. It’s truly great being able to share your life together with someone and grow together in Christ. I pray that for you two.

As exciting as both of these things were and are to me, the thing that I am most excited about right now happened this morning in Pensacola, Florida. I received a message from my best and oldest friend Ryan Peters. Ryan professed his love for God and decided to take that next step on his journey and was baptized.  I have known Ryan since we were twelve years old. We graduated together. We were pledge brothers together. We were initiated together and are fraternity brothers together. He was in my wedding and will be there when he puts me in the ground when I go home to meet Jesus. To say we are close is an understatement. Its wonderful knowing that we are now brothers in Christ and will be together again in the next part of our journey after this world, it wouldn’t be right any other way.

Ryan,

We are so proud of you. I have prayed over this decision for months. I think this passage from Luke sums it up best:“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

Stacy and I look forward to the things that are coming up in our future. In reality, what is there to not be excited about?

Whirlwind. (Stacy’s thoughts)

Standard

This is the only word that I can truly use to describe the past four days. Now that I slept about 7 hours last night and actually took a nap this afternoon, my mind might be functioning enough to update the blog. You will have to forgive me though if I seem like I am rambling. I have a lot to get out, and sometimes, my mind gets jumbled up. 🙂

Let me back up to last Tuesday. Jane(the owner and operator of our adoption agency) called me to let me know that she had a situation she wanted to talk to me and Ken about. We set up a conference call for the following afternoon after Ken got off work. Wednesday was a blur. I had so many thoughts, questions, prayers going through my mind that I couldn’t think straight.(This trend would continue on until today.) After Ken got home from work, we called Jane. She told us about that she had a birthmom that because of a previous situation where she had been very hurt, she had told Jane to pick a family for her baby. Jane said her first thoughts turned to us. (I’m going to stop right here and praise God that we changed to Open Door back in June. It’s a hometown agency and Jane knows Ken and I personally. Without her, none of this would be happening.) She gave us a little backstory on our birthmom and how she came to make this decision. Long story short, she wants the best for her baby. Jane then let us know that she was having a boy and he was due on or around Christmas. (Yes. This Christmas. Less than 7 weeks away.) I had the biggest grin on my face because Ken has said all along, “Stace, we will have our baby by Christmas.” I had doubted him this whole time. Jane told me that I could contact the caseworker that was working with our birthmom to see if I could set up a time for a conference call or a face to face meeting. Jane warned me that the mom might not want a face to face because of her previous disappointments. I called Beth, the caseworker to talk to her about all of this. She continued to tell me parts of our birthmom’s story including the fact that she would ask her if she wanted a meeting. I told Beth that lo and behold, Ken and I were heading up their way for a wedding on Saturday. (3 days away) Beth said that she would talk to her and let us know what she wanted to do.

Wednesday night was the most exciting time of my life. We got to share with our parents and our grandparents this awesome news. Just personally, sharing this news with my Mama and Daddy(Marmee and Standaddy) was one of the best experiences ever. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much this night. (OR any night since then. Who can sleep when you have a sweet baby to think about!) Thursday, Beth texted me to let me know that our birthmom had agreed and that she wanted to meet us on Saturday afternoon at 2. (Perfect timing for our 4:30 wedding we were going to.) Again, I had this nervous, excited, anxious feeling in my stomach. It hasn’t really gone away still.

Yesterday morning, we left Thomasville around 8:00 to reach Atlanta around lunch. We ate lunch, checked into our hotel, and headed off to our future, our destiny. Yesterday afternoon, at a Starbucks in North Atlanta, our lives changed forever. We were able to meet the mother(and father) of our baby. We had such a strong connection from the moment we met. I instantly fell in love with her. She’s smart, and cute, and interesting, and loving. The first thing she did was give me a huge hug and tell me how GLAD she was to meet me. I did the same for her. While it was just she and us talking, I told her that on April 7th, I had written a letter to the birthmother of my baby and that I wanted to give that to her. At the time, I didn’t know who the birthmom was going to be, but now I do! She laughed and said “In April, no one knew I was pregnant but me and I was scared to tell anyone else.” Wow. Guys, God works. After lots of information was shared between us, Ken and I headed off to the wedding. When we got in the car, Ken said “That was the coolest thing I have ever experienced.” I couldn’t have said it any better.

We feel good about being matched with this birthmom and feel like this is going to be our baby. She is due on December 22nd, but she feels like she will go into labor early. She has with all of her other children. We are ready whenever she(and he) are! We have his name picked out, showers are being planned, we are going to register for all of our necessities tomorrow, and most importantly, I am shopping online for the cutest My First Christmas outfit. (Suggestions on cute baby clothes websites would be appreciated by me, not appreciated by Ken.)

I have written all of this through the jumble of thoughts in my mind so like I said, forgive me if it seems a little scattered. However, there is one thing that I need to say and I know exactly how to say it. THANK YOU. Thank you for buying tshirts. Thank you for giving to our Fundly. Thank you for hosting fundraisers. Thank you to our family for supporting us wholeheartedly through the entire process(that isn’t over yet.) Thank you to our friends who never let us go a day without letting us know that they were thinking of us. But, thank you most of all for your prayers. We know that there have been so many people praying for us, for our birthmom, and for our baby for so long now. We feel them and we have felt them every single day now for around 10 months. We are so blessed to have so many people so strong in their faith that have been with us side by side on this journey. We are so much more blessed to serve a God who hears our prayers and knows exactly what His plan is long before we do. God is powerful, strong, and sovereign. And THAT is our adoption story.

Chapter two.

Standard

This blog was written by Ken. I am not ready to blog yet. If I were to blog right now, there would be a lot of words, and a lot of those words wouldn’t make sense. I promise once my mind starts working again, I will blog. Until then, here’s Ken!

Odyssey

[oduh-see]

(often lowercase) a long series of wanderings or adventures, especially when filled with notable experiences, hardships, etc.

Ward,

It feels good to finally call you by your name. We are so close to meeting you. We are so close to having you in our home. We are so ready for this.

The word above is what we have felt like we have been on. There have been some incredible highs along our odyssey to meeting you. There have been some incredible lows. There was a constant the entire time. That was our love for you.

You will also notice the title of this blog, “Chapter II.” Mom and dad did chapter 1 without you, but starting with chapter II you will be in the story forever. We are ready to write this book with you and see where it takes you in life.

I hope you can understand how much we have thought about you, prayed for you and longed to be with you. I also hope you understand that you will not have any two better friends than us and that we will help you whenever we can. It’s only fair. Mom and I have been helped so much by all of our parents, step-parents, grandparents and friends our whole lives.

I hope that we can be to you everything that you need buddy.

We love you,

Mom and dad