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Archive for August, 2008

Praise You in the Storm

If you have followed our adoption story, then you know that we have had some difficult moments and have felt like we are “in the midst of the storm” a few times. There have even been situations and moments that we have not made public because it is simply too painful to share the good news, only to turn around and share the bad news.

However, “in the midst of the storm,” my faith has never wavered. Sure, I have asked God, “Why do we have to go through this?” or “Why is this so hard?” As I ask these questions, I actually grow deeper in my faith and closer to my Heavenly Father.

I find it ironic that the day that our adoption homestudy was complete back in January, I dropped off our adoption profile book at the agency so that when we were “shown” to a birth mother, she could get to know us through pictures, stories, and words. After I dropped off the book, I returned to my car and began to drive. The radio was set to the local Christian station (which I am very thankful to have since we didn’t have one in Boston). One of my favorite songs came on and I just began to cry.  The song, “Praise You in the Storm,” had already spoken to my heart about the challenges of the adoption process. It isn’t always a storm, but sometimes there are dark moments. Little did I know that the song would absolutely describe our adoption process more than I could even begin to understand on that cold January day.

Here we are at the end of August and we have officially been in the adoption process for a year now and have already experienced an “adoption loss,” with several roller coaster rides that will remain private. We still don’t have a baby in our arms, but my faith remains solid! My faith in our Lord is probably stronger now than ever before. Some would say, how is that possible? I can’t quite explain it, but I will say that I hold on to God’s many promises found in His Word and through the experience of other believers. God has always provided for me and He has always answered my prayers. Of course, His provision and His answers do not always turn out the way I initially thought, but they are always perfect according to His plan. So, as I am in “the midst of the storm” I will continue to praise Him, trust Him and love Him…and in the end He will bless me more than I could ever ask or imagine.

Here are the words to the song sung by Casting Crowns, “Praise You in the Storm.” If you don’t know it you should try to find it and listen, It will most definitely bless you!

Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it’s still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I’ll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I’ve cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can’t find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Chorus

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This Old House

I LOVE when my friends post pictures of their homes on their blogs. So, I thought it was time I put some pictures of our home up. Our house is 98 years old. There have definitely been some updates over the years, but it has not been completely renovated like some of our neighbors’ homes. I have worked hard to paint pretty much every room and while there are still things that I would love to update, I feel good about the way things are so far. So, here are some (amateur) pictures with captions.

Welcome to our home! We love to sit on the front porch in our yellow Adirondack chairs and read, or just spend quality time together.

This is the view after you enter through the front door (Some might call it the Foyer).

Our dining room. This is the first room to the right when you enter the house.

Here is our living space. It is in the center of the house and is where we spend most of our “hang-out” time.

This is where I get my “cook” on. I painted the walls (5 times…don’t ask) and I painted the cabinets as well. The color on the walls, Sequoia Grove from Home Depot, is probably one of my favorite colors in the house.

Our powder room. Kind of hard to get a good picture, but it is a nice size room off the kitchen.

Our “urban” backyard/patio. The pictures don’t do this quaint space justice. It is a nice, small yard, but it needs a little work. I’m devising a plan now…so that hopefully by next year it will be a nice little flower garden area.

Now, let’s go upstairs…

Our one full bath is at the top of the stairs. The layout is not ideal, but it works for now. The wall color, periwinkle dusk from Home Depot, is another one of my favorite colors in the house. The periwinkle with the white accents create a cottage feel.

This is our nursery with a twin bed for those single guests. When our adopted baby is placed with us, we will be ready! I painted this room a couple of times too, but I really like the green with the cream on top.

This is the “beach themed” guest room. When you come to visit, you will be in the center of Washington, D.C., but you might feel like you are sleeping in an ocean front cottage.

This is the master bedroom. This room used to have a door that connected to the guest bedroom. But we closed that door up with a wall and created a bigger closet in the guest bedroom. The painting over the bed is both an original and my first painting ever (my artistic abilities are definitely a work in progress). Aaron really wanted the chocolate brown accent walls and so I chose the yellow to brighten things up. We love all of our windows, but usually keep the shades and blinds drawn to help cut energy costs!

Last, let’s head down to the “unfinished basement”…

This is where the laundry gets clean, and when we have more guests than we can fit upstairs, the futon comes in handy too. Our “son,” Terrence, has basically claimed this space as his own when he comes to visit. He says this space is his, mostly because we have an old T.V. down there where he can watch watch ever he wants.

So, that’s our humble abode. I hope you enjoyed the tour. You can tell me which room or wall colors are your favorite!

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In the meantime…

So, those of you who follow our life or follow this blog know that two weeks ago we thought our life was going to drastically change (you can read the previous post if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Nevertheless, things did not change. We continue to live in the uncertainty of not knowing when a baby will join our family.

Now, I have to figure out how I’m going to spend my time while we wait. This has kind of a been a year long dilemma for me. When we arrived to D.C., a little over a year ago, we jumped right into the adoption process. I was reluctant to get a job because I really just want to be a mom and I thought (ridiculously) that the adoption would happen quickly. However, I got my social work license in D.C. and MD and got a job as a Foster Care social worker. I knew right away that this was not the job for me. The D.C. foster care system is out of control! After three months of really LONG days, crazy situations, and really mean people, I decided that I was not cut out for foster care social work in D.C.

After I quit, I went on a several month search for “my purpose” in D.C. Just as I was on the brink of figuring it out, we were matched with a birthmother. Everything was kind of put on hold as we prepared to bring a baby into our world. I worked out at our new gym like a crazy girl. I thought, “I need to be physically ready to handle this new addition to our family.” I was getting my self and our house ready.

Well, now that we know we are not going to be parents this time around, I am thrown back into “finding my purpose in D.C.” You would think that I could just pick up where I left off. However, it doesn’t seem to be that easy. The uncertainty of adoption can be somewhat debilitating, at least for me. It is such a weird time in my life. Just waiting…

One of the most difficult things that I face is the question. You know that question, “So, what do you do?” How do I answer that question? This question is asked more often in D.C. than “How are you?” I’ve come up with several different responses. What do you think?:

  • “I’m a personal trainer. Right now I’ve got one client…ME.” – this will encourage me to maintain a consistent gym schedule – if it is my job!
  • “I’m an artist, and I’m working on several different projects.” – we all know that artists get the “raised eyebrows” – “oh, that’s cool” – look when they speak of their work.
  • “I’m a interior designer, and one of my clients (ME) is consuming all my time right now…” – This would be my job if we had a bigger budget for home renovation projects. Right now, I’m painting every nook and cranny of our house because paint is relatively cheap!
  • “I’m a domestic engineer.” – The new PC way of saying, “I’m a housewife.”
  • “I’m a professional reader.” – Reading as many books as I can get my hands on.

So, I’m kind of stuck, trying to find my place in this in-between time. If you have any suggestions, I’m open to them. It is a very difficult thing, this “in-between.”

Who knows, maybe I’ll become a “professional blogger.”

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