Oct 30, 2011

We're Official!

I can't believe I am actually typing these words after 7 years of trying to have a baby and waiting for over a year in the adoption arena.  Jesse and I have been officially chosen to be the adoptive parents for a birthmom from Grand Rapids.  We are still in shock and can't believe it's true!

I got the call Friday morning.  I saw I had missed a call from our adoption worker and just assumed that we had forgot to sign some paperwork when she came over the previous Monday to update our stuff.  But about a half hour later, I received another call from a 248 area code.  (That's the area code our agency is in.)  So, I began to think something was up.  So, I checked my voicemail sitting at my u-shaped table with a student who was going to read to me.  As I sat there listening, this is a summary of what i heard, "Hi, Michelle, it's Dawn.  I'm calling because the birth-family in Grand Rapids has looked over your things and homestudy and wants to officially name you and Jesse as the adoptive family they choose..."  I told little Haley I'd be right back and ran to my friends room next door.

As I was running to Heather's room, Darlene (my aide who helps out every day) came in to see if everything was okay.  I sent her in to hold down the fort and I'd be there in a minute.  I ran into Heather's room and screamed, "They chose us!  They Chose us!"  I sat there and cried in her arms as I tried to listen to the message Dawn had left.  I had no idea what she was saying and I was bawling my eyes out.

When I came back into my room after a few minutes, Darlene had learned what had happened and was asking for details, so was my other friend, Cindy.  The kids were supposed to be reading to someone, but I think they were trying their best to hear what I was saying.  I feel bad because I lied to my kids and told them that I got great news about my friend having a baby and then I got something in my eye.  I was nowhere near ready to share it with them!

So I found out that the birthmom is 34 and has been struggling with drug addiction for a long time.  She has admitted to doing drugs until about 3 months into her pregnancy.  So, obviously that is a little bit of a concern.  We were told our next step would be to meet them in Grand Rapids, but after talking to Dawn, our adoption worker, again, she said that Theresa (birthmom) doesn't want to meet us.  She said she was instantly drawn to our profile book and knows we are who she wants, but if she meets us, she will pick us apart and find faults with us.  So, she doesn't want to meet us.  She also wishes to have a closed adoption.  This is pretty shocking, as we've been preparing for an open adoption for a long time.

Mark says he can't deal with the baby and deal with Theresa's addiction.  This kind of saddens me, but I know that we will be very open and hopefully eventually they will want some sort of contact.

We don't have details about the sex or anything other than what I already told you.  Oh, I don't know if I mentioned this...She's due December 8th!  So, we've got about 39 days...Just about 5 1/2 weeks!   AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!  God is good!


Oct 24, 2011

Heaven Gained An Angel Yesterday

It's with a heavy, heavy heart that I write this post.  In June 2010, our small group leader's mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  It looked dismal at that time, but they took her to specialists and naturalists and we prayed our rear ends off for Trish.  As a result, we were blessed with another 16 months with dear, Trish.

I found out on Saturday that when she was given the diagnosis in June, it was stage 4.  Stage 4 and she lived as long as she did.

This woman was amazing.  It was so neat to watch her journey with God during her battle with cancer.  Her faith became so great and she was at peace with her cancer and her outcome.  In June of 2011, when we were baptized, Trish was baptized along with us.  This woman had the biggest smile imaginable and had the biggest heart.

It was sad to see her in pain because of the cancer.  In August, the cancer hit her hard. She had to have surgery and due to the pancreas and other organs shutting down, she turned a yellowish-green color, but her spirit was always bright and sunny, despite how she looked physically.

I was fortunate enough to see her one last time on Wednesday and wish I would've known it would've been the last time I saw her.  I have no regrets, but I would've hugged her a little longer or simply told her I loved her!

What breaks my heart the most is our friend's kids.  Trish was a daily person in their lives and they are, obviously, broken-hearted.  They loved Trish more than words can describe.  I pray that God is with them and they can deal with the loss of their loving grandma.  Trish loved those kids more than life itself, and it radiated off of her every time she was around them.

I know Trish is heaven right now, happy and healthy and all of us who knew her and loved her have an angel looking down.  I know one day we will all see her and she will greet us with her beautiful smile with her arms open wide welcoming us home.  But, life's not going to be the same here without her.  She was loved by all who met her and faith story with God through all of this inspired me.

She wasn't afraid of death, she didn't want to die and she gave it all she had, but she knew that dying was going home. That she would finally be at peace, with no pain and wrapped in the loving arms of Jesus.

Trish, I will always love you and your presence in my life has made me a better person.  You will be missed by all, but mostly by your grandchildren.  I pray that Jacob, Caleb, Callie and Luke will be able to deal with the pain of loosing you in a healthy way.  I pray that God will give us, the adults in their lives, the wisdom to know how to deal with this with them to make this as easy for them as possible.  I am sad you are no longer with us, but I have a joy that can't be explained because our prayers were answered- you are no longer in pain and you are home with Jesus.  Thank you for all you have done for everyone whose life you touched.  I love you and can't wait to see you in heaven.

Love you always,


Oct 11, 2011

My Back-Up Plan

For awhile now, I've been contemplating what I can possibly do with an education degree.  It's not that I don't LOVE my job...I DO!  It's just I don't know how long I will be able to be an educator based on all the garbage that educators have to deal with.  Especially in Michigan.  Politicians are going after teachers and making things harder to do our job.

I'm not even talking insurance or pay-rates.  I'm talking the standardized tests, merit pay, pitting teachers against each other and not allowing us to work together...things like that.

I think I've mentioned on here before about writing a children's book and I've been doing more writing.  I will finish my stories and begin sending them in to publishers this year.  But, come on, that's not something I can count on.

But, I've got it!!  I've got it!!!  When Jesse and I went to the gym last week, we picked up the magazine that they have there.  That's when it hit me.  What am I most passionate about?  Kids and nutrition/exercise.  I said to Jesse, we should look into opening an Anytime Fitness and I should look into getting certification to be a trainer.  Then I can work with people to help them become healthier.  I can also hold exercise classes for kids.

I think Jesse thought I was just blowing smoke, but it's been over a week and I can't stop thinking about this idea.  I think this would be an AWESOME thing for Jesse and I to do together.  It would allow me more freedom when we do start our family and it would be something that makes me happy and I'm extremely passionate about...

I don't know.  I think I'm on to something!!