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Showing posts from 2016

I Was Born in a Small Town

So we’ve decided to move. We love Ankeny, our house, and our neighborhood so it’s a little bittersweet to think about moving, but ever since Ethan came along - oh how things have changed. When we set out to build a wheelchair friendly house for Matt nearly 9 years ago, we were mainly focused on the functionality inside the house. While of course we wanted the ease and function of zero grade entry, we also yearned for the freedom he would know in a house with wider doorways and room to maneuver the bulky chair. In our old house there were literally rooms he never went into, simply because he couldn’t get through. Our Ankeny home was a dream come true in so many ways. And it was lovingly planned out and put together by so many incredibly generous and thoughtful people. We were humbled time and time again with how things came together for us in that house. I’ll never forget coming home for the first time with Matt after our long, exhausting trip back from China. It was late, we were jet …

I Didn't Know - Lesson Two - The Worry is REAL

From the moment I knew about Ethan my mind raced with worry like I never knew possible. I prayed over his birth mother, for their safety and health.  Living states away was agonizing...not knowing how things were going...wondering how things were progressing. I cherished every text and e-mail update...but the worry never quite went away.
The day Ethan was born that worry skyrocketed. Hearing his tiny screams in the background, rushing around in a daze trying to pack and prepare for what was happening. Time stood still, but my mind raced with questions...and worry.
In the hospital all we wanted to do was spend every possible moment with Ethan. Just leaving the room to go downstairs to the cafeteria for a quick meal felt like an eternity. What if something happened while we were downstairs? What if he was crying and needed us? We hardly left the hospital after that first day - I just couldn't tear myself away from this tiny life who was miraculously brought into ours. That first c…

I Didn’t Know - Lesson One – There isn’t Enough Time

In a little over a week Ethan will be turning 1 year old. This seems unimaginable to me. Of course time flies…it goes fast…and all those clichés you hear time and again are true. And while I ‘knew’ this was true, I didn’t ‘know’ how it would make me feel. I’m not sure if it’s this upcoming milestone or my increasingly mushy mommy-heart, but I’ve been finding myself realizing lately just how much I ‘knew’ but didn’t ‘know’ about being a mommy.
First off – there isn’t enough time.
When Ethan was first born I took a break from all my normal activities, and did all I could to soak up my time with Ethan. Maternity leave was amazing! I spent countless hours snuggled up as Ethan napped. He went from my arms to Matt’s arms all day long as we went about our business. We had no timelines, no agendas, no commitments but each other and it was one of the best times in my life. As maternity leave was winding down, I tried to prepare myself for re-entry into ‘normal’ life. Work, gym, home, etc. I tr…

A Glimpse Into Open Adoption

If you had been a customer of the Longhorn Steakhouse on Highway 19 in Palm Harbor, FL last Sunday night, you may have seen two couples walking through the restaurant, oogling a sweet baby boy on the way to their table. You may have commented on how cute he was. You may have thought he looked a lot like the woman carrying him. You may have wondered about the man in the wheelchair. But you likely would not have assumed you’d be witnessing this baby’s biological parents sit down to dine with his adoptive parents. It’s a scene I’ve been playing over and over in my mind as I recount the wonderful experiences of our trip to Florida. The magnitude of that moment, that evening, will never be lost on me. It was incredible to be a part of – and I’m so very grateful we had it.
We had met up with Ethan’s birthmother, L, earlier in the day. She hadn’t seen him since he was a few hours old and was anxiously waiting for us outside a local mall. As soon as we saw each other the tears welled up in our…

Dedication Day

Today we dedicated Ethan at church. It was a very moving and special service to both Matt and I. We had been planning it for a while - wanting to wait until after the adoption was final - and it was everything I had hoped it would be. Pastor's message on answered prayers spoke straight to our hearts, as we gazed teary eyed at this adorable and lovable baby boy squealing and smiling in my arms. How amazing is this story? How could it be anything other than God's story for us? It's so very humbling and so incredibly wonderful.
Here we sat, surrounded by so many of our loving friends and family. Ethan's supporters filled multiple pews! I couldn't help but smile through joyful tears at how amazingly blessed we are. As we stood up in front of the congregation and dedicated ourselves to raising Ethan to know Jesus, I was struck at how each one of those supporters had left an indelible mark on us, on our life. We simply would not, COULD not be where we are today without t…

Forever Family

Six months ago I stepped softly into a NICU room to peer in on a tiny new life. I stared at his face and tried to comprehend the incredible gift he was.
This week we finalized Ethan’s adoption, officially and legally becoming a forever family. He charmed a room full of family and friends, as well as a judge and lawyer across the country. Again, I found myself trying to comprehend the incredible gift his is.
SO much has happened these past six months. Our family of three has celebrated all sorts of fun milestones; sleeping through the night, daycare, rolling over, trying solids, the first holiday season, two 40th birthdays…the list goes on. Being a family, having a son, is amazing!
I spent so many years wondering if it would ever be us. If we would ever know the joy and wonder of raising and loving a child of our own. I spent countless tearful nights praying and pleading to God – not wanting to give up on our dream.
And now, when I stare at sweet Ethan’s face – I am so crazy glad we did…