Friday, April 29, 2011

You Know The Saying....

You know the saying, "it could have been worse". This couldn't have been much worse....

Last September we had a garage sale; clothes, stuffed animals, shoes, baby stuff, you name it! What we didn't sell, we stuck in some Hefty extra-large bags and left some of them in the garage and some of it I sold on Craigslist and to friends. I have HUGE issues letting go of Hannah's tiny baby clothes so the stuff in the garage sat there for a little while..... ok, fine. It sat until this week when I finally decided to take it all to a kids' consignment store and see if they would buy any of it.

Let's change gears a little now; In November, we realized that we had a mouse in the garage. We set traps of all kinds and the thing would eat all of the cheese and peanut butter and take off again. We called in the pros, they set their own traps, we didn't see the mouse for a while so we were thankful that the traps worked.

Ok, back to the kids' consignment store;

I'm walking around, waiting for them to go through my bags and hear my name. Thinking they were done going through my stuff, I walked over to the counter and was ready to get my cash.

Not so much.

Her: "There are mouse droppings in these bags so we can't take any of it."
Me: "Hmmm... that's weird. Can you show me? Maybe it's just fertilizer." (Nice, huh? I blame the blonde for that genius theory.)

I walk around the corner and she shows me the mouse poop.

Me: "I'm so sorry!"

She and I start gathering the bags to take back out to my car. One bag that the woman was carrying had some holes in it (hmmm... I wonder where those came from). She was walking behind me and we were about half-way out of the store when she screamed.

Yes. Screamed.

I turned around and there was a dead mouse laying on the floor.

Nope. It wasn't fertilizer.

Let's pause for a second.... what do you do when your hopes and dreams for getting some money out of your childs' beautiful clothes are crushed by mouse droppings and yes, the actual dead mouse lying on the floor of said kids' consignment store?

Well I don't know about you but if you're me, you laugh so hysterically that there's a huge chance you're going to pee your pants and add that to the growing list of things laying on the floor.

And then you grab your stuff and bail.

(Now, in retrospect, that may not have been the best way to handle this situation but it was just one of 'those' moments...)
Next stop, the dump; Good Will doesn't even want this crap.... literally.


HAPPY WEEKEND :-)

BTW, Mouse Pros... thanks a lot for the help :-/

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Candy, Part II~ Courtesy of Hannah, of course!

                                                                                        We......


really.....


really.....


don't like.....

chocolate!

Easter Candy Overload!

If you're anything like me, you hit the after-Easter candy sales and stocked up on some Cadbury Mini Eggs ;-) Well even if you didn't, I wanted to share this YUMMY Cadbury Egg cookie recipe that my brother's girlfriend, Dana sent me.... she's just one more girl after my own heart!


Cadbury Mini Egg Cookies

* 1 cup {2 sticks} butter, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 eggs
* 2 and a 1/4 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1- 10 oz bag Cadbury mini eggs

Directions: 
~ Heat over to 375
~ Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with mixer until creamy
~ Add eggs; beat well
~ Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt and gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended
~ Crush up Cadbury mini eggs by placing them in a Ziploc bag and beating with a rolling pin
~ Stir in Cadbury pieces
~ Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
~ Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

~ Thanks, Day! Love you!



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Amazing.... How Great Thou Art!


If you didn't see this performance the other day, please don't miss it now. Truly unbelievable!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter!!

* Hannah, Easter '09*

We have family in town this weekend so I wanted to quickly say "HAPPY EASTER" to all of our amazing friends, family, and blog-family! We are so thankful for every one of you... and we're MOST thankful for our Savior who sent His son to die on the cross for us. What a testimony of God's love for His children! We're praying that our next little bunny will be home with us next Easter :-)

We hope you enjoy your weekend; remember what we're celebrating, and eat lots of candy!

~ Love, The Smith's

Monday, April 18, 2011

Overwhelmed...

I wanted to take a quick second this morning and say 'thank you' to everyone who has emailed us, left comments on our Facebook page and here, and to everyone who has offered such kind words and support in our adoption journey to bring home our next Baby Smith(s). We are truly grateful for all of you!

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to open up and share our story so far. Hitting the 'publish' button on 'It's Time' was so difficult for both me and Joey but you all made it ok and even helpful and easy to be so transparent with things that have been painful and hard.

~ From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for your encouragement and support!

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's Time...

Writing is therapeutic... it's a way for us to vent without yelling and screaming, it's a healthy outlet for our feelings, it's a fun way to document our lives, and it's a forum (we hope) for others who are experiencing some of the same emotions along their infertility or adoption journey.

One challenge that blogging has recently presented for us is knowing what to share and when to share it. We strive to be transparent and honest ... and sometimes it's just hard.

We've had a busy, exciting, painful, and long journey to bring home our next precious baby(ies), like so many of you have, and it's not done yet.... but Joey and I would like to tell you our story, so far. Unfortunately, this story doesn't have an ending yet... but when it comes, it will be a very happy and long-awaited one!

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Our second adoption journey started back in August when we completed our home study. We signed on with a local agency in early October but weren't convinced that we would bring home our baby through them. They gave us the jump-start we needed to get things going, and that's what we needed at the time.The agency is small and we were told to expect about a year and a half wait to receive placement. We brought Hannah home after a 6 week 'wait', so 1.5 years sounded awful to us, though we know many couples who've waiting so much longer. Nonetheless, the agency has a strong reputation and a Biblical approach to adoption, so we proceeded with them.

In late October, we heard of a young girl through a friend who was due to have twins in mid-December. We started getting to know "A" through email, texts, and phone calls. She was considering another couple, as well so we remained realistic and tried to stay focused and grounded in our expectations, though having twins has always been a dream that Joey and I share and we were beyond excited about the possibility of bringing these babies into our home.

We talked to "A" through her delivery and hospital stay in early December and offered her all the support and encouragement we could, while still unsure of what her final decision would be. "A" ended up placing her baby boy and baby girl with another family. Though we were sad that these weren't our babies, we were the encouragement "A" needed to have the strength to be able to spend time with her babies before they went home with their new family. She's an unbelievably strong woman and we are so thankful for the opportunity, not only to know "A", but to be able to envision our family with twins... we loved what we saw! 'A' also provided us with a rare look inside the heart of a birth mom... one we will cherish forever.

                                                                              2 Corinthians: 9-10
 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

A few days before Christmas, we received an email through our Facebook page about a baby boy who was due to be born on December 27. This baby desperately needed a strong and supportive family because he had Spina Bifida. We sent our info to the attorney that was representing his birth-parents and received a call on the 26th with news that he had been born on Christmas Day. His first surgery went well and he was expected to be in the hospital for a few weeks. We started conversations with his birth-parents through email, text, and phone calls. They named this sweet boy Ace and wanted to remain his guardians until he was released from the hospital. A week later, Ace was released and went home with his birth-parents. We were so sad to not bring him home, but were so thankful for his healthy prognosis and his parents who love him so much.


We believe everything happens for a reason. We've always been 'open' to special needs, but imagining Ace as part of our family made 'special needs' very real to us. Through this experience we learned that we are not only 'open' to a child with special needs, but would be beyond excited to welcome him or her as our child!

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD;
   be strong and take heart
   and wait for the LORD.

Our conversations with Ace's birth-parents lasted about 10 days (from December 26-January 5). On December 28 we received an email, again through Facebook, from a young woman who was due to have twin boys sometime around mid-April and was looking to make an adoption plan for her babies. We fell in love with "M" immediately. We began communicating with her daily toward the end of January and she 'chose us' at the beginning of February. We were SO thankful and so excited for this second opportunity for twins! We were really starting to see all of the events that led to this point and started preparing our home, hearts, and Hannah for the arrival of these sweet boys.

"M" helped us name the boys. She sent us belly pictures, dreamed with us about the boys' future, discussed nursery themes with us, joked with us about all the laundry that would come with 2 new babies, and we became such close friends. We had created such a strong and crucial foundation in our relationship with her and knew that these boys would grow up having the best First Mom and many, many people who loved them so much!

"M" went through the very normal and necessary process of wondering if the decision she was making for the boys was indeed, the best. She shared her range of emotions with us through the next few weeks and wrote the boys one of the most heart-felt letters we've ever read (we hope, with her permission, to share it one day). She was torn; wanting what was best for them and not knowing if she was included in their 'best' or not. Experiencing her pain and the ups and downs of her difficult decision was a wonderful, painful, exciting, and excruciating thing for us.... we loved her, hurt for her, and loved the boys and wanted them, too. Through it all, we supported "M", reassured her of our love for all of them, and prayed that God would continue to guide all of us in what would be the best outcome for the boys.

We all knew that, inevitably, one of us would end up grieving their loss.

While we were continuing to grow our relationship with "M" and prepare for the boys' arrival, our agency called us toward the middle of February... a young girl had chosen us to parent her baby girl, due to be born on February 28. We were shocked. We had been told to expect such a long wait... 4 months isn't what we had prepared for.and we were faced with one of the most difficult decisions we've been faced with yet; turn down this opportunity to bring home a baby-girl in 2 short weeks and continue planning and preparing for the boys, or turn down our dream to have twins and hurt our relationship with "M" to bring home a precious baby-girl in 2 weeks.

I screamed. We cried. We prayed. Everyone prayed.

We called our agency that night and said 'no'.

We said 'no'.

That's still hard for me to remember.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.


We love "M". We love those boys. We knew that if we brought baby-girl home, while we would never ever regret, we would always wonder. We had to complete the work that had been started with "M".

Twin boys, "B" and "W" entered the world 5 weeks early in the second week of March. They were perfect and healthy and TWINS! We communicated with "M" throughout her drive to the ER, while she was with the Doctor, and knew as soon as the boys were born. We also knew that the boys would be going home with their parents.

WE just weren't going to be their parents.

We were the one's who grieved. We cried. We screamed. We entered a dark place. Have you been there before? 

I'm sorry. So, so sorry.
Psalm 46:10
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

The room we had prepared. The clothes we had bought. The grand-parents who were beyond excited. The blankets that had been knit. The car seats. The cribs. Everything with 'them' in mind.

And we brought home nothing.

We pursued a private adoption knowing full well that we would miss out on all of the support, advice, and help along the way that an agency has to offer. We also knew without a doubt that this was the path God wanted us to go down. We don't have any regrets... or grudges... or anger.

Today, we have hope. Funny, huh? THIS kind of hope only comes from the Lord.

But the sadness? Yeah... it's still here. Oh, it's not as raw as it was a few weeks ago but those boys... all of the babies we've mentioned here, have become part of our story. We pray for them every day. We still communicate with their amazing moms. We love them all so so much. And every one of them represents good things in our story; each one brought us one step closer to our baby... the one(s) that will come home with us. They represent how crucial it is to follow God's plan, even when you just don't see (yet) how it makes any sense.

Thanks for reading :-) We have been so blessed by the relationships we've been able to develop with these moms. We've been blessed immensely by all of you; the friends, family, and even friends of friends or family who have loved and supported us. You have all become part of our childrens' testimonies that are already so strong and have already impacted so many lives.

And you know what?

The story is not over.... it's really just beginning.


 Philippians 1:4-6
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The PERFECT Spring/ Summer Recipe!

I just realized how long it's been since I posted a recipe! I was getting everything together for dinner tonight and thought I would pass on what we think it the PERFECT Spring/ Summer recipe... enjoy!

Chinese Chicken Salad

* 1 package Cole Slaw
* 1/2 cup toasted almonds (optional)
* 1/2 cup green onions
* 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
* 1 can mandarin oranges
* 1 package crushed, dry Ramen Noodles (save the flavor packet for the salad dressing)
* 1 rotisserie chicken (or 2-3 shredded chicken breasts)

Dressing:

* 4.5 Tbsp. vinegar
* 3 Tbsp. sugar
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* Salt & Pepper
*  Flavor packet from Ramen Noodles

Directions:

~ Mix all of the dressing ingredients
~ Mix all of the salad ingredients
~ Enjoy :-)

Easy, huh? Lemme know if you try it!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Morning Lesson in Patience.... From Hannah :-)

My mom sang a song about patience to us growing up and I can't tell you how many times I find myself singing it to Hannah .... but also find myself remembering the words when I'm having a little trouble being patient, myself.

I have vivid memories of my Mom singing this song when we were waiting for the light to turn green, or waiting for the cookies to bake (I still don't get why that takes so long!), or while we were waiting at the doctors' office... or waiting for Daddy to come home from a business trip.

Now I sing it when we're waiting for the light to turn green, or waiting for cupcakes to bake (WHY does it have to take SOOOO long?!?!), or waiting at the doctors' office, or waiting for Daddy to come home from work...

Or waiting for our baby(ies) to come home.

SO... I thought I would share this sweet video Joey took last night of our baby-girl singing one of our favorite songs... I hope it helps a little with the "Monday impatience" that always seems to creep in :-)

video

                                      For those of you who don't speak "Hannah"...

"Have Patience"

Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry.
Cause when you're not patient
You'll only start to worry.
Remember, Remember,
God has patience, too!
Just think of all the time when others'
Had to wait for you!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Special Needs Infant Adoption

We're so excited that our profile is now listed on the Special Needs Infant Adoption page!

The term 'special needs' can be scary but as Joey and I were deciding (like so many of you have) what we were 'open' to in our adoption journey, we had to sit down and decide if 'special needs' was included. We ultimately decided that it is! Everyone feels differently and that's more than ok!

Our theory is this; I have to manage high cholesterol, I had Scoliosis when I was young and had surgery to correct it, Melanoma has popped up on both sides of our family, I wore glasses and braces, Joey had some signs of ADHD growing up, Joey's family carries a rare blood clotting gene.... need I go on? :-) We are VERY healthy people! But we also have some things that we could absolutely pass down to biological children, should we had been able to conceive. The point is, we all have 'needs'.... so we're open to others' needs, as well and more than anything, we want to be completely open to the amazing plan that God has for our family; we don't know what that plan includes yet and we're really having fun finding out (... most of the time).

With all that said :-)... if you're a waiting family and you've decided that you're open to 'special needs' (even just a few!), please consider joining the list of waiting families with Special Needs Infant Adoption or email Kelly at mom2khmertwins@yahoo.com . They're not an agency, there's no fee involved at any point in the process, they find homes for infants and toddlers who have a WIDE variety of needs (non-existent, simple and complex), and they just help birth moms find families and babies find homes... and as a former special-needs teacher and a mom, I love what they do!

Let us know if you sign up and leave a comment with the link to your profile when it's posted... I'd love to see it!



Friday, April 1, 2011

Warning: Don't Read With a Sensitive Stomach....

WOW! What a week we've had! I'll spare you the gory pictures but if you have even a slightly queasy stomach, just move on... :-)

Joey is such an athlete! (You know it's good when the story starts that way, huh? ;-))  He played baseball throughout middle and high school, played 2 years of college baseball, plays on softball and basketball leagues each year, golfs, and takes every opportunity to get outside and play with Hannah.

All that said; Wednesday night was the opening game of softball season and he was playing 3rd base. A ball came at him, ricocheted of his glove and went head-on into his right middle finger, slicing the top in half and pushing his bone out through the back of his third knuckle. We spent 3 hours in the ER late Wednesday night while the doctor re-set his bone, stitched him up with lots and lots of stitches, loaded him up with painkillers and antibiotics, and set us up to see a surgeon on Monday morning to see how bad the tendon damage is.

Needless-to-say, he's miserable.... and I'm afraid he will be for quite some time. We've had some long nights, even the Percocet doesn't seem to be helping his pain, and I'm trying my best to keep him comfortable. When you're right handed, your wrist and hand are immobilized, and you're a man... that's not so easy :-) He's been such a trooper and has a great attitude but he's just plain bummed.

I keep reminding myself that God protected Joey on Wednesday night. Yes, he was hurt and yes, it was so scary. BUT, the ball didn't hit him in the chest.... or the mouth.... or the eye.... or the head.... or the stomach. If I have to choose a body part, I choose a toe or a finger.

I hate seeing him in pain. I hate that he's hurting... and I'd take it from him in a second.

I bet that's how God feels when we hurt... and I find so much comfort in that!