Sunday, December 25, 2016

Waiting During Christmas

{Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay. Close by me forever, and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in your tender care, And fit us for heaven, to live with you there.} 


As I sat in the nursery re-reading part of The Purpose of Christmas, the last verse of Away in a Manger popped into my head. As joyous and magical as this Christmas season has been, it is evident to both Kipper and I that a piece of the puzzle is missing. 

It is sometimes hard not to allow those moments of longing not to steal our joy. But in those moments when I quiet my mind and let God speak to my heart, I have so much peace. Peace that He is guiding each step of this adoption journey and that each experience is important for what is to come. 

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, I pray for all the young pregnant women who are scared, overwhelmed and facing one the greatest decisions of their lives. I pray that they can quiet their mind and let God speak to their hearts. And I pray that when God does speak to them they experience strength and peace (much like Mary) to follow through on the plans He has for them.

Friday, December 23, 2016

All I Want For Christmas - Guest Post From Kipper

Because today his words are far better than mine I had to share these words from my sweet husband. 


I have not wanted for anything in a very long time. My wife and I are exceptionally fortunate to live in a safe environment with reliable transportation and fantastic careers. We do not think in terms of what we want as much as what God wants and try to make those two things line up. 

This year, however, all I truly want for Christmas is a child. I know that for many of you, children are a given and on some days a pain in the rear end you wish you could take a break from. I hope that some day I will want to take a break from the little pain in the tail too. 


Allie and I have said and maintain that God will bring us the right baby in His time. Patience is a virtue I have lacked most of my life and I am finding patience even more elusive now. While we appreciate all of the prayers and support we have received, we ask for you to pray for all of the lonely and scared expecting mothers who have no idea what the right decision is or how they will raise a child. 


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Prayers for My Heart


From the moment we started telling people about our plans to adopt we have felt loved and supported. And while it is sometimes easy to get caught up in the fun details and daydreaming of the future, we knew going into this journey that it wasn't for the faint at heart. This journey would test our faith in ways it has never been tested before. 

For several months I have asked for friends to join us in praying for our future birth mother and I am thankful for those prayer warriors who faithfully stand by our sides as we continue to pray for her. 


Tonight I have a different prayer request, one for me and my heart.

Over the last few days I have learned that as much as I thought I had prepared my heart for how emotional this would be, there is no way to fully prepare yourself for the twists and turns that take us by surprise. I am learning that guarding your heart in this process is easier said than done. And when I have been so focused on prayer for our future birth mother, I might have underestimated the spiritual support I would need. Tonight I am overwhelmed and confused, praying for the peace I felt just a few days ago. Praying that I can get out of my own way and let God's plan for our family be done. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

We'll Eat You Up, We Love You So!


{Oh, please don't go - we'll eat you up - we love you so!} 

A few years back, we found this adorable little book shop down in the Pearl Brewery area of San Antonio. I loved it because it reminded me of the little local book stores of my childhood. 

A few weeks ago, to celebrate taking the next steps on our adoption journey, we bought Baby Martin their first book "A Family Begins With A Wish". I always wondered what the first book we purchased would be and as the tears ran down my cheeks in Target the night I saw  "A Family Begins With A Wish" I knew the answer. 

Well today we returned to that adorable book shop down in the Pearl Brewery area of San Antonio and bought Baby Martin their own copy of one of my very favorite childhood books "Where The Wild Things Are"

I can't wait to sit down and pen a letter to them in the front cover when we get back home. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dear Future Birth Mother: The Nursery



Dear Future Birth Mother ~ 

For just over 11 years this room was known as "our future babies room" and it just sat waiting. For the last 6 years the sight of this room, empty and still waiting, broke my heart in ways I can't put into words. Yet in the last 2 months it has become my favorite room in the house. 


Because of you, my heart no longer breaks when look down the hall. Because of you, we aregoing to finally fill this room with the love, laughter and sleepless nights that it has longed for. The sense of peace God gives me when I pray for you is unexplainable. 


Tonight as I sit here, I pray He is giving you those same moments of unexplainable peace. Peace to know you are making the right decision. Peace to know there is a family in Fort Worth, Texas that He has created specifically to raise your precious child. And peace to know that child will never go a day without knowing how incredible and brave you were. 


Until our paths cross, 

Allie

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Grateful

I am so behind on blogging. I normally have several unfinished posts going at any given time, but this year I haven't event been able to get started. It has seriously been months since I have posted on my blog.  I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that 2016 just isn't my year to be Blogger of the Year. lol.

All joking aside, so many wonderful things have happened in our lives since my last post. As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family and friends tomorrow I want to take the time to slow down and reflect on the last few months. On top of the normal everyday joys, there have been some life changing moments and there is only one word to describe my emotions - Grateful.

In August, after 15 long and trying months, Kipper graduated from nursing school and started preparing to take the NCLEX.

We also welcomed a precious new family member when Whitley gave birth to princess River Ann.


September was huge for us.

The month started out with dear friends hosting a fundraiser to help support our adoption. Kipper and I were blown away by our friends and loved ones generosity. For so long I could never make sense on paper of how we were going to make everything work, but through our sweet friends God provided in a big way. For the first time I was able to lay my head down at night and know that we could make this all work.

Shortly after Kipper took his NCLEX, and was blessed to have two job offers through Cook Children's as long as he passed. At the end of the month we found out he passed with flying colors and starting in November he would be the newest Cook Children's NICU RN.

Come October, or Allietober as it is known in our house, things were still busy as ever. We started the month out by Kipper joining me at his first every Birthday Party Project celebration at Union Gospel Mission.

We got started on painting the nursery to prepare for our adoption home study.

Kipper ran his last call as a member of the Cook Children's Teddy Bear team.

And I celebrated my 35th birthday with my dearest friends who surprised us with the yellow crib I have been in love with for over 2 years.  


We kicked November off with Kipper's first day in the NICU and his Teddy Bear family throwing him an amazing surprise party that night. Complete with his favorite cake and a generous donation to our adoption fund.


We were able to take a family girl's trip to Canton that was a blast!


We scheduled our adoption home study and got the crib set up in the nursery (thanks to Little Polley's help!) Fenway is loving all the new baby apparatuses. He thinks they are for him. lol.


I have also been spending a lot of my free time painting the other nursery furniture, with Gulliver's help. ha!


On top of all of this work has been full speed ahead as I am in one of my busiest seasons and Kipper is drinking from the fire hydrant trying to learn everything he can about his new job. My training has suffered quite a bit, but I am accepting my season and have had fun going to weekly Zumba classes with Bridge and running when I can.

Now we are frantically getting ready for our adoption home study at the beginning of December and everything that the holidays brings. Yet, even though life has seemed to move at the speed of light the last few months we have still been able to enjoy so many special moments with friends and family.

This season has been full of change, both scary and exciting. Our hearts are full and we are embracing the change. We are surrounded my a community of love who supports and lifts us up at every turn.

We are thankful. We are humbled. We are more grateful than we could ever express.

From our family to yours - Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!











Friday, July 29, 2016

Love Conquers All


As we prepared for starting our adoption journey I was warned by friends (yes, more than one) who had walked this path before to prepare our hearts for the stones that would be cast our way. Especially if there was fundraising involved. Some of the stones might come from expected places, but others would cut you at the core.  In the same conversation they would tell me not to let the negativity and hate distract us. That for every stone that was cast a handful of angels would surround us with love and support.  And as much as the actions of a few would hurt, seeing the love and support from people you never expected to step up will be an incredible part of our journey. 

Every time I heard a version of this cautionary tale I thought my friend telling it might be slightly mad. I couldn't imagine a situation for someone to be so hateful. Apparently I was just extremely naive. 

Some of what I am about to say is a repeat from past posts, but after the last week it bears repeating. For over a year a group of dear friends have said that when the time came they would be ready to step up and fund raise for our adoption. And for over a year, we said no.

If I am being honest, it terrified me. It was so out of my servants heart comfort zone. I am the one who is supposed to be helping and serving others. There are so many people who are far more deserving or in need of the blessings of others. What if people judged us for asking for help?  What if when push came to shove we were left standing there alone? In my moments of panic, I could come up with all sorts of crazy. But then I remember my favorite quote from a book I read earlier this year, Rhinestone Jesus. 



Suddenly my way of thinking changes. What if there are people wanting to help us, but they don't know how because we have been too proud to ask? What if the only thing standing in our way of our God sized dream is getting out of our own way? What if our amazing community of friends and family is the key to making our dream a reality?As stubborn as we both are when it comes to asking for help, God has shown us that we have to humble ourselves. We have to allow those who love us to help us through this part of our journey. So when a dear friend approached us about hosting a fundraiser to help support us in this journey, even though it still made us a little uncomfortable, we said yes. 

Since the invitation has been made public we have received so much love and support. It has only been a week and we are completely blown away. But at the same time my dear friends were completely correct - people have cast stones. Lots and lots of hateful stones. (I told you I was extremely naive.)  Not only about the fundraiser our dear friends were hosting, but also about Kipper and I's character.   

At first I was shocked. Then I crumbled. I cried more than I care to admit. And then I just got angry.

After some thoughtful prayer and time, I am better. It would be easy to shout out everything that has been said and who said it. It would be easy to stoop to their level and fight back. But we won't.

We refuse to allow the hate of a few steal our joy from the love and support we are feeling from the army who has surround us.

We refuse to let hate infiltrate this journey we are on to find the child God has created just for our.

We refuse to allow the hate of a few to tarnish the hard work the girls have put in to plan an incredible fundraiser and a special day that I know we will never forget. 

We refuse to allow hate to win. 

Love conquers all.